Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Tuesday said he was following President Donald Trump's directives when his state bought a half-million coronavirus tests from South Korea, and he's "not sure why" the president's message suddenly changed Monday.
"If there was an easier way, we certainly would’ve taken it,” the Republican governor said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The president said that the governors are on their own and they should really focus on getting their own tests, and that’s exactly what we did. His message changed yesterday. I’m not sure why."
Monday, during his daily coronavirus task force briefing, Trump said he did not think Hogan understood the federal testing capacity and that he needed "more knowledge" before buying the testing kits.
Trump also said there are several testing labs in Maryland, but Hogan said those are federally owned and Maryland has no access to them. Further, the governor said on Twitter that the federal lab space had been opened to the state but the real issue was a lack of tests.
"We now have the tests, they have the labs, and that should be a great solution," Hogan said Tuesday. "We should be able to now start to get to work together."
He also said he thinks Trump "went off the rails" with his comments in the press conference Monday, as he and other governors had a "great conversation" with Vice President Mike Pence and the task force earlier in the day.
“What I think most governors are doing is, we’re doing what we have to do, and this is exactly what the president has told us to do,” Hogan continued. "Just yesterday, he was saying that the governors are responsible for this, they’re on the front lines. We should just get it done, and then we did get it done, and then we got criticized, so I’m not sure how things could be different.”
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