It’s hard to argue with success, and Maryland has fared pretty well in dealing with the pandemic.
While some residents may consider Gov. Larry Hogan heavy handed in his approach to trying to control spread of the illness, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regular guest on the CBS program, “Face the Nation,” has nothing but good things to say.
A member of Hogan’s COVID-19 task force, the doctor, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, points to states like Maryland and Massachusetts as “laboratories for COVID control” that the incoming Biden administration could use as examples as officials fine-tune a national response to the scourge.
Gottlieb said Hogan, “as chairman of the National Governors Association, helped create an interstate testing compact that pooled purchasing power across states and helped ensure supplies were apportioned equitably. Mr. Hogan ... worked closely with leaders in low-income areas, where residents faced a disproportionate burden from the pandemic.
“He was also the first governor to send ‘strike teams’ into nursing homes, consisting of National Guard resources, public health officials, and providers from local hospital systems. The goal of these efforts was to focus state resources into the communities most at risk from infection. Maryland’s strike teams became a model for other states.”
A poll from Gonzales Research & Media Services gave the governor a 75% overall approval rating, with his popularity shared among Republicans, Democrats and independent voters.
As COVID cases and hospitalizations rise in Western Maryland and across the country, Hogan is continuing in his role as the Free State’s commander in chief over the outbreak, warning that although the state is well-prepared for a new surge residents must remain vigilant.
“The warning lights are starting to flash on the dashboard,” he said in a recent news conference, “and nobody should think for one minute that we are somehow immune to the spikes that we’re seeing spread in surrounding states in the region and across the country. The weeks and months ahead will be difficult and our collective actions will determine whether we can continue safely on this road to recovery.”
While some Americans consider a mandate for face coverings a form of government overreach or even tyranny, we agree with members of the medical community who have been adamant that wearing a mask over one’s nose and mouth is the single most important way to control the virus and save lives.
“I mean, it’s simple. It’s not that hard,” said Hogan. “Just wear the damn mask.”
That about sums it up.