In this brave new world of near-mindless Trump fanatics who’d rather kill millions than go against their cult leader, it’s refreshing to see a high-ranking Republican go against Der Fuehrer’s orders on behalf of the people he governs. Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) should never had had to do what he did. In a sane society, under a sane federal government, Hogan, like every US state and territorial governor, would have received as many Covid-19 tests and PPE items he could have asked for. That’s not what happened. Hogan had to reach out to South Korea for a “midnight requisition” of 500,000 tests, in a mission he titled “Operation Enduring Friendship.” On Saturday, First Lady Yumi Hogan and I stood on the tarmac at @BWI_Airport to welcome the first ever Korean Air passenger plane, carrying a very important payload of LabGun #COVID19 test kits which will give MD the capability of performing half a million coronavirus tests. pic.twitter.com/Elf0ADIRnJ — Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 20, 2020 (I learned about “midnight requisitions” from a wonderful book, Warm Bodies, which I read for the first time at about age 10. The senior officers on the lowly Navy LST would sneak aboard larger and better-provisioned destroyers, cruisers and the like while in port and “requisition” items they wanted or needed but couldn’t get through the usual labyrinthine logistical routes. Go find the book, if you can.) Hogan has been walking a tightrope on behalf of Maryland’s citizens, as so many others have done in times of crisis to avoid bruising Trump’s swollen and fragile ego — and suffering the consequences Trump will inflict upon said citizens. But his efforts were doomed to failure, and he knew it. Hogan endorsed Trump’s impeachment in 2019. After that, it was inevitable that Trump would look for an opportunity to hurt Hogan in retaliation. And what better way than to kill the citizens Hogan was elected to govern? So, a month ago, Hogan decided to take matters into his own hands. His wife, Yumi, is South Korean. She spoke in Korean with Lee Soo Hyuck, South Korea’s ambassador to the US. Yumi Hogan capitalized on her status as the first Korean-American first lady in US history to ask for assistance. “We made a personal plea, in Korean, asking for their assistance,” Hogan recalls. “That call set in motion 22 straight days of vetting, testing, negotiations, and protocols between our scientists and doctors, eight Maryland state government agencies and our counterparts in Korea.” He says negotiations took place almost nightly, and “sometimes, it seemed like all night.” Hogan and his officials began securing — quietly — the necessary approvals from a variety of federal agencies so that the chartered Korean Air flight could land unmolested at the Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Why the secrecy? Hogan freely acknowledges that he feared the federal government would seize the tests and spirit them away to God knows where. Hogan declines to say what steps he took to keep that from happening. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, harshly criticized Trump after Hogan’s story went public, saying the administration’s response to the pandemic has been “so slow, and so ineffective, that the Governor of Maryland — a Republican — had to turn to South Korea to get badly-needed tests.” Hogan later adds: “Each part of this international collaboration […]
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Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.