Govs. Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam Say Trump Claim That States Have Enough Testing is ‘Absolutely False’ and ‘Delusional’
On CNN’s State of the Union, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland told host Jake Tapper that President Donald Trump‘s claim that states have enough Covid-19 tests to safely open back up for business is false. And Gov. Ralph Northam (D) of Virginia told Tapper the same, with a little more vigor.
Tapper spoke first with Virginia governor Northam, who after a grilling over his own record on taking steps in to prevent the spread of the virus, was vehement when asked about Trump’s comments. Tapper quoted the president as saying the states have enough testing capacity to begin opening the states, and he asked if Virginia is ready.
“Jake that’s just delusional to be making statements like that,’ Northam said. “We have been fighting every day for PPE and we’ve got some supplies now coming in. We’ve been fighting for testing, it’s not a straightforward test.”
“We don’t even have enough swabs believe it or not, and we’re ramping that up,” he said. “But for the national level to say that we have what we need, and really to have no guidance to the state levels, is just irresponsible, because we’re not there yet.”
Tapper then spoke with Hogan, who had much the same message.
Tapper played clips of both Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump saying there is a sufficient amount of testing available now for states to move into phase one of reopening if they are prepared to do so.
“Gov. Northam just called that ‘delusional,’ the idea that states have enough testing. What do you think?” Tapper asked. “Do you have enough testing to move into phase one?”
“I think this is probably the number one problem in America, and has been from the beginning of this crisis. The lack of testing,” said Hogan. “And I’ve repeatedly made this argument to the leaders in Washington on behalf of the rest of the governors in America.”
“I can tell you I talk to governors on both sides of the aisle nearly every single day,” Hogan continued. “The administration I think is trying to ramp up testing, they are doing some things with respect to private labs, but to try to push this off to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren’t doing our job is just absolutely false.”
“Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests, not only from the federal government but from every private lab in America and from all across the world. And we continue to do so,” said Hogan. “Look we’ve increased our testing in Maryland by 5,000% over the past month, but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be.”
Hogan brought up Northam’s comments again to agree with him. “As Governor Northam said a moment ago, there are things like shortages on swabs that we don’t have anywhere in America, you can’t do the test without. On reagents, which is part of the test,” he said. “So look I think they’ve made some strides at the federal level, I think states are all working hard on their own to find working Testing, Lab capacity has been increasing.”
“But it’s not accurate to say there’s plenty of testing out there and the governors should just get it done,” Hogan concluded. “That’s just not being straightforward.”
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