Report: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Anti-Trump Hero, Paid for Flawed Coronavirus Tests from South Korea

Larry Hogan coronavirus airport (Larry Hogan / Twitter)
Larry Hogan / Twitter

Coronavirus tests ordered by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in April from South Korea turn out to have been flawed, and were never used.

The media celebrated Maryland’s Republican governor as a hero in April — and a contrast to President Donald Trump — after he directed his state to buy 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea, greeting the delivery in person at the airport.

The New York Times reported that Hogan had decided to act after being “frustrated” by the Trump administration’s alleged lack of progress on testing. Hogan also enjoyed glowing coverage from NPR. The Associated Press hailed his South Korea-born wife as a “rock star” for her reported role in securing the tests.

But it later emerged that the tests were not being used, and that Hogan had paid for the same tests that U.S. manufacturers were offering for 20%-30% less.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the tests were a failure — and one that Hogan tried to cover up:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) spent $9.46 million in state funding to import 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea that turned out to be flawed and weren’t used, emails, documents and interviews show.

As it became clear that the much-touted tests could not help detect which Maryland residents had contracted the novel coronavirus, the Hogan administration quietly paid the same South Korean company $2.5 million for 500,000 replacement tests.

Hogan and his top health and procurement officials withheld the tests’ flaws from the legislature, state spending authorities and the public, according to a review of public testimony and hundreds of pages of emails and other records.

Hogan continues to be treated as a Republican foil to Trump, telling CNN on Sunday he was “embarrassed” by the president:

CNN’s Jake Tapper failed to ask Hogan on Sunday about the Post report showing that the governor misled the public about the tests.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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