Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday his state has already accepted some Afghan refugees — and intends to welcome more.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Hogan says he was the first governor in American to make the gesture.
“I was the first governor in America to reach out and say we wanted to … take more of these special immigrant visas for the folks that have been our allies that we've made a commitment to,” he said.
“We've got to stand by them. We've got to get our Americans out, and we've got to get those- those allies out of there as well. And we're going to do everything we can to help do that. …We've already received some over the past week or two into our state and we're going to try to get as many as we can.”
But Hogan made it clear he believes the withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan is “an unmitigated disaster.”
Hogan also asserted his state is also ahead of the curve in pushing for faster deliver of booster shots to combat the still-spreading coronavirus.
“We can't wait that long” for an eight-month interval between the last COVID-19 shot and a booster, as is being currently proposed.
“We've been pushing the federal government for three things,” he said. “We're pushing to get the final FDA approval, which I think is part of the reluctance on the part of a lot of people. Hopefully that's going to be coming this week.”
“We're pushing to speed up that timeframe because we want to start, we're already preparing in our state to start doing boosters for our nursing home residents and people that are in vulnerable populations,” he said. “We want to get that final OK from the federal government and we want to push to get it approved for the younger kids that right now can't get it.”
Hogan, who is a cancer survivor, said he already received his booster shot.
“I did just this week [as a result of] strong advice of our team of epidemiologists and my own oncologist,” he said. “The federal government said that people that are immune compromised should get it. I had a cancer of the immune system, so I got it on Monday. I'm feeling great.”
The governor also said he’s leaving any mask mandates for schools up to local school districts.
“We left it up to our local school systems,” he said. “About two thirds of them have already made that decision to wear masks. We think that that's where it should be. The duly elected school boards make those decisions based on the facts on the ground in their particular area.”
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