Washington — Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland as the coronavirus was widespread throughout the United States last spring Appeared As a refreshing and wise leader who is willing to set aside political ideology for public security.
Hogan vowed to stick to his prudent approach, even if other Republicans were in a hurry to reopen the state in response to the impatient President Trump. “We do nothing that puts someone more at risk.” He said In the TV appearance at that time.
But last month, Hogan Suddenly moved to resume state An era when public health authorities continued to seek attention.They point to the spread of the B.1.1.7 mutant of coronavirus, which is Wild type, Or the original stock.
Hogan rejected that expertise He announcedOn March 9th, businesses such as restaurants could be fully operational and large venues could be half full. “Every day in a pandemic, you will find some experts who agree with you and some who disagree with you.” His spokesman said then..
Since then, predictable things have happened, and despite being flat in Maryland’s region, which remained restricted beyond March 12, when the order came into force, it was followed by the Governor’s initiative. The number of cases is increasing. As the state reopens from spring to summer, it faces the same challenges as Maryland, especially as the state’s amazing demographic and geographical diversity can apply to many other parts of the country. There is a possibility.
Unlike other Republican governors, Hogan maintained a state-wide mask mandate. He has received new criticism, but he continues to receive praise as well. Other and attribution laboratories at the University of California, Berkeley have recently found that the state is the most effective in treating pandemics. Throughout 2020.
However, the latest numbers are not promising. It was on March 1st 904 Hospitalization with COVID-19; By the end of last week, the number of people hospitalized across the state for coronavirus-related illnesses had increased to 1,470.
In the days before Maryland reopened, the daily percentage of diagnostic tests that returned positive dropped to 2.64 percent. According to the state’s coronavirus dashboardIn early April, the positive rate jumped to 8.73%, clearly warning that the virus was spreading rapidly again (it has declined slightly since then).
Criticism continued on the Washington Post editorial page Call for Hogan to resume It was “premature”, suggesting that the governor had “denied” it. Not exactly what politicians, who are likely to be preparing to run in 2024 for the White House, want to hear.
“I understand that businesses, schools, churches, and every aspect of our society need to be reopened,” he said. Dr. Leana Wen, Former Baltimore Health Commissioner. “It is also very important to continue the obligation to mask. I hope more thoughts were made about linking the resumption policy to vaccination, especially as there is competition between vaccines and the fourth surge of virus. . “
If such a wave is realized, it may be less deadly than the previous wave, as so many people are vaccinated or have antibodies from their seizures at COVID-19. .. Still, there are enough vulnerable and unvaccinated people that the new surge raises concerns. I’m also worried that the coronavirus will appear to have landed in a new population. “We are aware that young people are sick,” said Dennis Schroeder, Deputy Secretary of Health and Welfare, Maryland. Said at the end of last month..
“Hogan’s reopening plan leaves many holes and questions unanswered,” he said. Dr. Kabita PatelA Maryland-based health policy fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former Obama administration official, “because incidents have increased, especially in parts of the state, and vaccination rates are still behind.”
Vaccination is the best reason to resume, but no state has vaccinated enough people to stop the infection in the area. Maryland immunizes 24% of its population, slightly above the national average of 21.7%. However, white Marylanders are vaccinated much earlier than colored Marylanders. According to the Kaiser Family FoundationAfrican Americans make up 30% of Maryland’s population and 35% of coronavirus deaths, but receive only 23% of vaccinations given in the state.
The resumption was particularly impressive as it took place without much preparation or warning. This is a departure from Hogan’s well-thought-out approach to a pandemic. “Reopening needs to be done in the right way, including helping health professionals drive decisions, prioritizing reopening of school and childcare options, and keeping track of local governments. “Democratic Party Brooke Lierman said. On behalf of Baltimore in the state legislature, Currently running to become a state auditor.
“It’s hard to understand why the governor makes his decision, because he doesn’t share his reason. He shares his decision with the local government before the press conference,” Riaman told Yahoo News. I haven’t. “
Hogan’s office continued to defend the reopening, but did not respond to requests for comment. “We meet with a team of experts and epidemiologists almost every day to follow science.” He said At a press conference last week. “I don’t think it has anything to do with resuming.”
State Democrats claim that Hogan’s political ambitions are in the way of his common sense. They say they’ve been watching Fox News and other right-hand outlets celebrating Greg Abbott in Texas, Kristi Noem in South Dakota, and Rondesantis in Florida for months.
That rebellion is part of their growing appeal to Trump fans. All three are expected to look for a white house in 2024. So is Hogan, a much more moderate person in the party. It happens to be more popular With Democrats rather than Republicans in Maryland. This can be useless in Republican primaries, especially in primaries dominated by Trump-backed voters.
“Larry Hogan has shown that his priority is his political ambitions, not the people of Maryland,” state Democratic leader Yvette Lewis told Yahoo News. Described that he wanted to maximize Desantis and Nome as “race to the bottom.” “
Lewis also accused Hogan of purchasing a coronavirus test from South Korea last spring as a “massive promotional stunt” when it was difficult to do so in the United States. He did so with the help of his wife, Yumi, an artist from that country. The couple appeared at the airport to protect their luggage, fear The card may order it to be seized.
Recently State audit The test was improperly purchased and in some cases turned out to be potentially flawed. And two state officials claim they were fired because they expressed concern about the South Korean test.
The audit was conducted on the last day of March due to the increase in incidents in many parts of the state. It fueled growing suspicion from Democrats who have always viewed Hogan with some caution, despite the wide range of missions that voters seem to have given Hogan. They say that the national image Hogan has cultivated is not accurate when it comes to dealing with pandemics.
When the mass vaccination site opened last Wednesday, Greenbelt Mayor Colin A. Bird turned to Mike and made an unexpected criticism of Hogan. “Governor, in great respect, I want to let you know in my heart that you have reopened the state too soon,” Bird said. Hogan stood beside him.
Governor staff Then I tried to cut off the birdA move that instantly (and, of course) made the moment even more newsworthy than any other method.
Bird’s frustration is reflected in the more populous areas of the state, especially near Montgomery and Prince George’s counties on the outskirts of Washington. Baltimore.. They are also the communities with the largest share of black and Latino residents and essential workers like grocery store employees.
Montgomery and Prince George’s remained more restrictive, in line with the attention of the District of Columbia itself, while other parts of the state reopened in March.Baltimore County Moved forward Baltimore city keeps pace with Hogan did not do it..
“As the state’s most devastated jurisdiction, more cautious and cautious to reopen businesses and other facilities in the community, not only to keep residents safe, but also to avoid frustration. It was important to take an approach. Dr. George Askew, Deputy Health Manager of Prince George’s County, said in a statement to Yahoo News.
Prince George’s was the most infected in the state (80,257) and the second highest mortality rate after Montgomery County (1,408). “During this pandemic, we made a resumption decision based on the advice of data, science, and public health authorities,” continued Askew. “This often means that our reopening is slower than in most states, but our population relies on our decisions and data-driven approaches.”
At the same time, there were few infections or deaths in the rural areas of Maryland, both in the mountains along the West Virginia border and along the Chesapeake Bay on the other side of the state.Those areas It tends to be whiter and more conservative. 41 people were killed in the scenic Eastern Shore Queen Anne’s County. There were only 62 in Garrett County, where there are forests and mountains.
Similar battles took place across the country, putting the governors of both parties in a difficult position. In California, for example, a remote county of the Redwood Empire wants to reopen, but reopening makes little sense to East Los Angeles, where many important workers live. Multi-generational household.. People travel and residents of one county may rely on goods and services from another county. All of this requires consistent state-level response, even in small states like Maryland and Rhode Island, making it nearly impossible.
However, as these infections have also appeared in counties that were previously relatively free from the coronavirus, as young people are infected more often, there is little reason to not follow Hogan’s lead on March 10. There was not.Eastern Shore including Kent County (629%), Talbot County (157%), Dorchester County (138%) and Queen Anne’s County (79%) According to the New York Times Coronavirus Tracker.. In Allegany County, on the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border, cases have increased by 71% since the end of March.
The counties that remained closed near Washington, DC were much better, increasing by only 5% in Prince George’s and actually decreasing by 5% in Montgomery.
Overall, cases have increased by 14% in the last two weeks. The seven-day average of new cases in Maryland is currently 1,370. After March 24th, the average number of cases for 7 days will not drop below 1,000.
“The state is aware,” said Charles Gishler, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health. “We are competing between new variants and shootouts,” he added.
At least for Hogan’s critics, the question is whether the race will slow Maryland if it resumes too early.
Read more from Yahoo News: