Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday that he isn’t holding his state to any “artificial deadline” to begin to reopen businesses and rollback coronavirus restrictions.
“Well, we haven’t got any kind of artificial deadline on that,” Hogan told ABC News’ “This Week” in reference to President Donald Trump’s reported suggestion that May 1 could be the beginning of restarting the American economy. “Look, everybody wants to get the country back on track as quickly as we can as long as we do in a safe manner.”
“You can’t just pick a date and flip a switch,” he said.
On Saturday, Hogan and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo requested $500 billion in funding from the Trump administration to continue their fight against the coronavirus. (RELATED: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Commends Trump, Pence For Keeping Governors Informed During Coronavirus Crisis)
“We’ve got this twin problem of this terrible health crisis, where we’ve got tens of thousands of people dying; and yet, we also have this incredible economic challenge where we’ve got millions of people who are unemployed and small businesses being hurt everywhere. We’ve got to balance those needs.”
The governor said he believes the latest “hot spot” for the COVID-19 virus is the corridor between Baltimore and Washington where “about five million” are vulnerable to the pandemic. (RELATED: Maryland Will Allow Alcohol Deliveries During Coronavirus Crisis)
Although Hogan acknowledged that “a lot of people in Washington are working very hard” at keeping medical and personal protective equipment flowing to the states, the governor said it would be “not quite accurate” to say that “everyone is completely happy and we have everything we need.”
“Well, I get calls from governors every single day, we have had 12 calls now with every single governor in America, eight of which the president and/or vice president was on the call with us and I can tell you … we’ve certainly seen an improvement over the past week from the week before, a lot of people in Washington are working very hard. Everybody has gotten more supplies than we had the week before or the day before.”
Hogan has defended Trump’s handling of the crisis and disputed a contention from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that the United States military had been “sidelined” during the COVID-19 outbreak.