WASHINGTON (WJAL) — Gov. Larry Hogan says he has deployed the Maryland National Guard and the Maryland State Police to a secret location to protect coronavirus tests from being confiscated by the federal government.
Hogan was interviewed on Washington Post Live by Robert Costa Thursday.
“You had some concerns about whether the feds would seize these tests when you brought them over from South Korea. Is that true?” Costa asked. “Were you concerned that the federal government would try to take those tests out of your hands?”
Hogan detailed the long, complicated process that he and his wife went through to procure the tests from Korea.
“We spent about 22 days and nights dealing with this whole transaction with Korea,” Hogan said. “We dealt with the Korean Embassy and folks at the State Department in Korea, eight different state agencies and our scientists from both sides trying to, you know, figure out these tests.”
Hogan said it had been reported that the federal government had confiscated face masks that were flown into Massachusetts. He said Gov. Charlie Baker then worked with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, to fly a second mission in a private plane to bring in more equipment.
Hogan said other states reportedly had similar experiences.
“So, we were just making sure--that was so important to us that we wanted to make sure that that plane took off from Korea safely, landed here in America safely, and that we guarded that cargo from whoever might interfere with us getting that to our folks that needed it,” Hogan said.
To be sure the plane with tests for Maryland would land safely, Hogan said, “We made sure it landed at BWI Airport instead of Dulles. So, it's the first time a Korean Air passenger plane has ever landed at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. We landed it there with a large contingent of Maryland National Guard and Maryland State Police, because this was an enormously valuable payload. It was like Fort Knox to us, because it was going to save the lives of thousands of our citizens.”
Costa asked if the National Guard was still protecting the tests in Maryland.
“They are,” Hogan said. “The National Guard and the state police are both guarding these tests at an undisclosed location. These things are being distributed; they're helping us distribute the tests.”