Apr 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Hogan says National Guard is protecting coronavirus tests sent from South Korea

In this image, Hogan stands and speaks
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told the Washington Post during a virtual event Thursday that coronavirus tests that arrived in the state from South Korea are being guarded by members of the Maryland National Guard and state police.

Why it matters: Hogan said the state wanted to guard the tests "from whoever might interfere with it," referencing reports from Massachusetts and other states that the federal government had effectively confiscated shipments of personal protective equipment.

  • "It was like Fort Knox to us, because it's going to save the lives of thousands of our citizens," Hogan told the Post.

The big picture: The federal government's distribution system for personal protective equipment, administered via FEMA, prioritizes counties that have the greatest need for such equipment, according to CDC data.

  • "Because the federal government determines which states are in greater need, governors and hospitals executives preparing in advance for the worst have complained that FEMA was effectively commandeering their personal protective equipment," the New York Times reported earlier this month.

Where it stands: Maryland is reporting just over 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 and over 21,000 confirmed cases, per the state health department.

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