President Donald Trump again took a swipe at Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Twitter, this time citing a conservative website's report on the state's deal to acquire 500,000 South Korean coronavirus tests.
In a tweet posted just before noon Sunday, the president said: "Report: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Anti-Trump Hero, Paid for Flawed Coronavirus Tests from South Korea via @BreitbartNews. This (Republican In Name Only) will never make the grade. Hogan is just as bad as the flawed tests he paid big money for!"
Report: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Anti-Trump Hero, Paid for Flawed Coronavirus Tests from South Korea https://t.co/PHV7euutVb via @BreitbartNews. This RINO will never make the grade. Hogan is just as bad as the flawed tests he paid big money for!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2020
Hogan tweeted a response at 1:40 p.m., saying: "If you had done your job, America's governors wouldn't have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic, as we successfully did in Maryland. Stop golfing and concede.'
The report the president cited claims the tests were flawed and never used, something the governor disputes.
If you had done your job, America's governors wouldn't have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic, as we successfully did in Maryland.— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 22, 2020
Stop golfing and concede. https://t.co/tCXO8etxge
In a statement released Saturday, the governor said the tests are being deployed at the state's community-based sites and in nursing homes and congregate living settings. To date, the state has used more than 375,000 of the LabGenomics tests, Hogan said.
The test kits from South Korea have drawn criticism over the months for its secrecy and lack of detail. On Wednesday, the 11 News I-Team uncovered details about new spending related to the South Korean coronavirus tests. To date, about three quarters of the tests have been used, according to new accounting the 11 News I-Team obtained Wednesday from a state health official.
One new detail about the deal that came Wednesday was the state has been spending $45 million in emergency contracts with a private lab in Frederick, Cian Diagnostics. State health officials said the lab has taken over most of the processing of the South Korean tests, which marks a shift from the original plan when the state paid the University of Maryland to ramp up its lab in Baltimore to process the tests. The university's lab stopped using the tests after concerns about false positive results in nursing homes.
In a further sign of the governor's confidence in the deal to buy the tests, a Maryland Department of Health spokesman told the I-Team Wednesday the tests from the South Korean company are used to test the governor and his staff at the governor's residence.
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The president last broached the issue in April, saying at a news conference: "I don't think he needed to go to South Korea. I think he needed to get a little knowledge -- would have been helpful."
It's no secret that there's no love lost between the president and the governor. Hogan has been a consistent, vocal and national critic of the president. Hogan, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," said the president's efforts to pressure Michigan lawmakers to overturn the election results were "completely outrageous."
Hogan also said he is "embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up" regarding the president's refusal to concede.
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