Governor Larry Hogan, chair of the National Governors Association, today sent a letter to President Trump asking for further guidance on how to best move forward with the White House’s offer to allow Maryland to use federal labs for COVID-19 testing.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, after weeks of diplomatic discussions and procurement negotiations, Governor Hogan this week announced that Maryland has acquired 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea’s LabGenomics.
In the letter, Governor Hogan notes that on March 15, the leaders of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC wrote directly to the president to request a federally-supported testing site in the region.
From the letter:
As chair of the National Governors Association, I want to thank you for the continued coordination between the federal, state, and local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are making clear progress on many of the common challenges we face. I appreciate your administration’s focus on information sharing, highlighting best practices, and empowering governors to assess conditions on the ground and make the decisions that best fit our states.
Maryland is fortunate to have a plethora of federal installations with the potential to play a critical role in increasing our testing capacity, including Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Detrick, Fort Meade, the National Institutes of Health, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. These federal labs can be key to our utilizing the 500,000 tests we recently acquired from South Korea and our comprehensive recovery plan to get Marylanders back to work as safely and quickly as possible.
I was grateful to hear of your generous offer yesterday to allow the State of Maryland to access these federal labs for our testing. I am writing today to personally thank you and the Vice President and to request guidance on how we can immediately proceed on this important federal-state collaboration. I look forward to continuing to work with you and your great team. Thank you once again.
For up-to-date information and state resources regarding coronavirus, including confirmed case counts and clinician guidance, visit http://health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
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