State of Maryland protected Covid Tests with National Guard

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we’re all thinking about our hands and
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right now we’ll need them more than ever
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America’s factories power plants
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government military data transportation
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water waste national security hospitals
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are all fighting they need people on the
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ground to keep them functioning which is
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why we are working hands on around the
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clock
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supporting the larger efforts in every
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state and county because our technology
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is only as powerful as the people
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deploying and maintaining it keeping
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America moving takes more than
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technology alone it takes a human touch
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[Music]
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[Music]
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[Music]
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we’re watching certain metrics and
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looking at a pattern of numbers before
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we make any kind of decisions everything
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is going to be based on the numbers and
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the science we’re not going to do
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anything that’s that’s going to put
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anybody in in more danger
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[Music]
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welcome to Washington Post live I’m Bob
01:54
Costas an a tional political reporter at
01:57
The Washington Post this morning we
01:59
continue our leadership during crisis
02:02
series as the corona virus pandemic up
02:05
ends all aspects of American life our
02:08
guest today is a state executive on the
02:11
frontlines Larry Hogan Maryland’s
02:13
Republican governor he is chairman of
02:15
the National Governors Association
02:18
governor Hogan welcome good morning Bob
02:20
thanks for having me
02:21
good morning so governor what is the
02:24
latest in Maryland in terms of cases and
02:27
the death toll well so we were still
02:31
kind of climbing that curve in Maryland
02:34
we were a couple of weeks behind some of
02:36
the other states because of some of the
02:37
early and aggressive action we took we
02:40
just surpassed 21,000 cases and sadly we
02:44
just went over a thousand deaths here in
02:46
the state but we’re we’re certainly in a
02:50
much better position than we would have
02:52
been we not taking aggressive action so
02:55
you’re in a much better position but are
02:57
you ready to set a date about reopening
02:59
your state so we laid out a very
03:02
detailed plan just last week and we’ve
03:05
had a coronavirus response team made up
03:08
of some of the smartest scientists and
03:11
epidemiologists and public health
03:13
officials in our state from places like
03:15
Johns Hopkins and some of the leaders of
03:17
this pandemic response really nationally
03:20
advising us we developed a plan that
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took into consideration the president’s
03:26
own corrupt coronavirus plan the mga
03:28
plan that we put out the week before for
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the recommendations for all the
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governor’s along with some Hopkins
03:35
reopening plan and the American
03:37
Enterprise Institute plan put together
03:38
by dr. Scott Godley who was the former
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FDA commissioner and our plan is as soon
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as we see a flattening or a plateauing
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of these key numbers like
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hospitalizations and ICU bets or the
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things that we’re really focused on the
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number of cases is going to rise as we
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do more testing and so and and sadly the
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deaths lag a couple of weeks behind
04:02
what’s actually happening now and so the
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numbers that
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most closely following on a daily basis
04:08
our hospitalizations in ICU beds and
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we’re not seeing as much of a spike
04:13
we’ve got a couple of days up a little
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bit but it’s a it seems to be leveling
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out which is a good sign it seems to be
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leveling out so you’re still in a
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wait-and-see period about those metrics
04:24
we’re looking at those metrics and we
04:28
wanted to make sure that we before kind
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of key building blocks that we wanted to
04:32
have in place we want to make sure we
04:34
had robust testing which we have ramped
04:36
up dramatically we want to make sure we
04:38
can do contact tracing we have a enough
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of a supply of PPE which has been a
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difficult thing for most of the states
04:47
to deal with and we’re constantly
04:49
bringing in more and more supplies to
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support our hospitals and and then you
04:54
know the last thing we’re dealing with
04:55
is hospital surge and we’ve added six
04:57
thousand beds to our hospital capacity
04:59
and have been acquiring ventilators to
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make sure that we can be prepared so
05:04
those things in place we have a phased
05:06
plan to start implementing just as soon
05:10
as we can because we’re anxious to get
05:12
our economy back on track and put people
05:14
back to work but we want to make sure we
05:16
do so in a safe effective and gradual
05:19
way let’s talk about the supplies you
05:22
just mentioned last week it was big news
05:25
Marilyn bought 500,000 tests from South
05:28
Korea but you saw the Washington Post
05:31
this morning they have not been used yet
05:33
what’s the holdup well I announced when
05:36
we acquired the test a little over a
05:38
week ago it was a it was a huge
05:41
accomplishment it’s like this more than
05:43
a month after the president said the
05:46
states were kind of on their own and had
05:47
to go out and get their own testing we
05:49
searched all over the country to find
05:51
tests and we finally through some
05:53
international diplomacy we were able to
05:55
get this half a million tests in from
05:57
Korea at the time when that plane landed
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that half a million tests was more than
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the all of the testing added together
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for four out of the top five states in
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America it was quite a step but when I
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announced it 10 days ago I said it was
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still only a part of the puzzle because
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we still needed swabs and reagents there
06:16
are about nine different steps in this
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that was a big chunk of it the rest of
06:20
it we’re continuing to work on and prove
06:22
on but the story really wasn’t you know
06:24
I hate to take a shot at the Washington
06:26
Post but it really wasn’t that accurate
06:28
of a story because we are utilizing the
06:30
tests we have thousands of them that are
06:32
being deployed but we have to ramp up
06:34
our lab capacity which we’ve been
06:35
working with the federal government on
06:36
trying to get some assistance on there
06:38
had been a shortage of lab of swabs all
06:41
across the country which the president
06:43
just instituted the defense production
06:45
act on all of these things are part of
06:47
being able to deploy those half-million
06:49
tests but we have a poultry outbreak on
06:52
the Eastern Shore we have thousands of
06:53
those tests over there now and produce
06:55
stadium in Salisbury we’re putting them
06:57
out in our we put out a report yesterday
06:58
that we’re going to do mandatory testing
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of every single patient in every single
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nursing home first state in America in
07:04
America to do that and we’re doing that
07:06
with those Korean tests that we’re just
07:08
talking about to the point about the
07:10
Washington Post story I’ve heard from
07:12
Governor Pritzker of Illinois for
07:13
example a similar point that you just
07:15
made that it’s not just enough to have
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the test you have to have the supplies
07:19
that go along with the test when are you
07:21
going to feel comfortable that Marilyn
07:23
has those supplies to use the tests you
07:25
got from South Korea well so we’re using
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as many of them as we can and as the
07:30
additional supplies come in we’re
07:32
utilizing more of them but when we when
07:34
we acquired the test we said that was
07:36
helping us on a long-term strategy so we
07:38
always intended this to be over several
07:39
months that we would utilize those
07:42
half-million tests not in the first week
07:44
that we acquired them so but where it
07:46
all depends on the ability of to get the
07:49
swabs the reagents all of the steps in
07:52
the process and the lab capacity so you
07:54
know we’ve got private labs involved
07:55
that have to get it ramped up we’ve got
07:58
the University of Maryland where we
07:59
invested in robotics just so that they
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can produce 20,000 tests per week which
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is a major improvement we’ve been
08:07
getting reagents we were able to ramp up
08:09
I think you know 40,000 more tests as
08:12
about a week or so ago and swabs
08:14
continues to be a problem but it seems
08:16
like and that is something that the
08:17
federal government is helping with and
08:18
hopefully we’re gonna get more supplies
08:20
in but right now we’re using all we can
08:22
possibly use and we’re hoping to be able
08:24
to keep up with demand as we need them
you say the federal government you want
it to be a partner with Maryland
but based on my own reporting you had
some concerns about whether the feds
would cease these tests when you brought
them over from South Korea is that true
were you concerned that the federal
government would try to take those tests
out of your hands was a little bit of a
concern about trying to get these things
and it was a very complicated process
you know we we spent about 22 days and
nights dealing with this whole
transaction with Korea dealt with the
Korean embassy and folks at the State
Department in Korea eight different
state agencies and our scientists on
both sides trying to you know figure out
these tests and that at the last moment
I think 24 hours before we got sign-off
from the FDA and border and customs to
try to make sure that we landed this
plane safely we made sure it landed at
BWI Airport instead of Dulles so 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 enormous ly valuable
payload it was like it was like Fort
Knox to us because gonna save the lives
of thousands of our citizens and there
had been reports of for example in
Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker
told the story of his plane load that
came in with with masks was basically
confiscated by the federal government

and he had to then get Robert Kraft the
owner of the Patriots to fly a second
mission with a private plane to try to
bring some of that equipment in for a
couple of other states that had similar
stories
so we were just making sure that
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
the US getting that to our folks that
needed it the national guard protecting
test is the National Guard in Maryland
still protecting those tests they are
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 test they’re also helping
in all kinds of other humanitarian
we have about 1,300 members of the
Maryland National Guard who have been
activated another 800 that are kind of
on standby ready for activation within
an eight-hour period but they were just
tremendous they’re helping us distribute
supplies and PPE helping us with the
distribution of those tests they’re
helping provide meals for hungry kids I
mean they’ve just done an incredible job
and we were utilizing them these are
citizen soldiers that are really
stepping up to help their says there’s
fellow citizens in need are we seeing in
Maryland a racial disparity in access to
testing generally not access to testing
in fact we’re actually most of our tests
are deployed in our high population
areas which also happen to be more
racially diverse so we’re doing more
testing in the areas with higher
11:29
concentrations of minorities but we’re
11:31
also there is a disparity in I mean
11:33
there’s no question that that minorities
11:36
are more impact they didn’t have a
11:38
higher percentage of people that are
11:40
that are both getting the virus and
11:44
dying from the virus and so it has to do
11:46
with you know our population centers and
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in in the inner Beltway and the
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Washington suburbs and in Baltimore City
11:53
where we have highly dense populations
11:56
and people that are you know riding
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public transportation or working and
12:00
living in closed environments and
12:01
there’s definitely there we published
12:04
all the racial data which does show that
12:07
that minorities are more impacted by the
12:11
virus but we’ve spent more time more
12:13
resources and done more testing and put
12:16
more of a focus on those areas than
12:17
anywhere else people in minority
12:20
communities people across Maryland
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they’re also struggling not only with
12:24
access to testing but access to
12:26
unemployment benefits and you’ve
12:28
apologized acknowledged problems in that
12:30
effort the beacon portal so what are you
12:32
doing right now today to speed up access
12:35
to debit cards and checks well so this
12:39
has just been an enormous first of all
12:41
my heart goes out to all the people that
12:43
are struggling and suffering there’s so
12:45
many so much unemployment I think
12:46
nationally as of today you know 30
12:49
million people filing for unemployment
12:51
some of these benefits are brand-new
12:53
I want to thank the federal government
12:55
and Congress and everybody for moving so
12:57
quickly to add these additional benefits
12:59
folks that are not w-2 employees but gig
13:02
workers and 1099 none of the websites
13:05
could handle these types of these new
13:08
types of benefits number one and the
13:11
volume was so unprecedented we had in a
13:13
five-day period something like 250,000
13:18
people try to file which was more than
13:20
the entire year of 2019 we created a
13:23
brand-new website for this brand-new
13:25
program to try to handle that and we
13:28
were one of the first in the country to
13:29
do so in many places they aren’t even
13:31
able to provide the benefit so you can’t
13:33
get through on a phone a couple of
13:34
states their entire system crashed and
13:37
it’s been down for days ours has
13:39
continued to run and we’ve been able to
13:40
help a couple of hundred thousand people
13:42
but it’s frustrating to me that some
13:44
people were waiting way too long and the
13:46
system was not able to help handle the
13:48
speed so I you know I said look this
13:52
it’s unacceptable as the governor of the
13:54
state I you know I have higher standards
13:57
of that and I’ve been demanding from the
13:59
contractors that are developed aside
14:01
from our all of our state workers we’ve
14:03
brought in hundreds of people to try to
14:04
fix it working around the clock 24 hours
14:06
a day as of this morning it’s working
14:08
and functioning much better you have
14:11
about a three minute wait rather than
14:13
waiting for hours but we expect that
14:15
volume when people start filing if the
14:17
file every week so Sunday and Monday the
14:19
massive volumes are gonna come in again
14:21
we’re hoping it’s gonna work much better
14:22
but it’s a difficult every state in
14:24
America is having difficulties
14:26
processing the massive volume and we’re
14:28
trying to get people every penny of the
14:31
money that they deserve and that they
14:32
desperately need as quickly as we can
14:35
speaking of speed another tragedy in
14:38
your state in other states
14:40
nursing homes and you’ve now mandated
14:42
testing for residents staff at nursing
14:45
homes the question is though how soon
14:48
can that be done
14:50
so the nursing homes as you know if you
14:52
remember Bob when we first started
14:55
hearing about this in America was that
14:56
focus in Washington state of Washington
14:59
with that nursing home and I remember
15:01
vividly seeing those those images it’s
15:05
been probably the biggest problem that
15:08
every state has had nursing homes
15:10
because we have that’s our most
15:12
vulnerable population and they’re in
15:15
such a vulnerable position so what when
15:18
the the very first day of our crisis
15:19
they we got our first case in Maryland I
15:23
called in all of the long-term care
15:25
facility operators the nursing homes the
15:27
assisted living all of these folks and
15:29
weeks we brought them in we took really
15:32
aggressive action on day one to lay out
15:35
protocols we didn’t know we cut down
15:37
access so there were no visitors allowed
15:38
this was fifty fifty two days ago we we
15:42
said that staff had to be checked
15:44
temperature checks as they came and went
15:46
no travel for your staff but all kinds
15:49
of protocols we put in place together
15:51
with the industry in spite of all those
15:53
things a symptomatic staff who didn’t
15:58
have a temperature didn’t show any signs
15:59
of anything and there were no visitors
16:01
coming a symptomatic staff would would
16:04
come to work with the virus unknowingly
16:06
and it just went through these nursing
16:09
homes like wildfire we now have over
16:11
4,000 cases in our nursing homes we have
16:15
we have about 130 some nursing home
16:18
centers with outbreaks or clusters and
16:20
sadly 46 percent of all of our deaths
16:23
our nursing home patients so we’ve taken
16:25
further steps to now not wait until
16:28
somebody’s showing signs of symptoms and
16:33
and but we’re testing every single staff
16:36
member and every single patient in all
16:39
those there’s 24,000 of them in our
16:41
state so it takes a while to get it done
16:43
we’re prioritize just started yesterday
16:45
this new program we’re with our new
16:48
tests from Korea but we’re prioritizing
16:50
the ones where we have the outbreaks and
16:52
where we have threats of potential
16:54
clusters where we’ve got a case where we
16:57
already have somebody that tested
16:58
positive and we’re gonna work our way
17:00
down that list until we get to every
17:02
single
17:03
those folks what about prisons should
17:06
testing be mandated there as well we are
17:09
where we’ve taken all kinds of steps to
17:11
reduce our prison population we’ve set
17:13
up triage centers we’ve set up isolation
17:16
sections in the hospitals and we’re
17:18
doing testing of hospital staff that’s
17:20
one of our top priorities and that’s
17:22
included in our kind of clusters and
17:24
hotspots where we’re focusing some of
17:26
these tests first so it’s things like
17:28
prisons it’s things like nursing homes
17:31
also on health care workers they’re
17:35
gonna get prioritized for tests and then
17:37
this issue like I talked about today we
17:39
have a big poultry industry on our
17:40
Maryland’s Eastern Shore we have a major
17:42
outbreak there and interruption of the
17:44
food chain so we’re we’re setting up
17:46
this new thing there for the for the
17:48
workers in the poultry industry at
17:49
Perdue at the Perdue plant and at
17:52
Purdue’s Stadium in Salisbury let’s
17:54
pause on that food issue we got an email
17:57
from one of our readers of the post Milo
17:59
Williams from Maryland she said quote I
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heard there’s no risk to Maryland’s food
18:03
supply train but grocery stores are
18:05
still out of stock of many items I
18:07
switch to having my groceries delivered
18:08
but a lot of times my delivery is not
18:11
arriving because things are out of stock
18:12
what’s being done yeah I think that’s
18:16
there there is no interruption in the
18:18
food chain and that’s not sort of
18:20
unrelated to what I we do have a concern
18:23
with this poultry industry issue that
18:26
same you’ve heard about it nationally
18:27
with pork producers and beef producers
18:29
and now poultry producers to make sure
18:31
there’s no interruption in that food
18:33
chain which is a big national issue here
18:35
locally we’re concerned about the
18:37
workers and the spreading this into the
18:39
community and about our poultry farmers
18:41
and what it does to our economy on the
18:43
this issue that your your reader is
18:47
asking about the stocks not being filled
18:51
that’s a problem that’s we’re continuing
18:53
to try to work with all of these supply
18:56
chain folks to make sure they keep being
18:58
filled some of it is a problems with
19:02
distribution but some of it is simply
19:04
people rushing out and and hoarding
19:06
because of concern about things running
19:08
out so they’re buying too much and
19:10
clearing out their shelves and but it’s
19:13
an issue that we continue to work with
19:14
all the stores in the supply
19:16
to try to improve upon to make sure that
19:19
this shelves remain stocked but there if
19:21
there isn’t a concern so people should
19:23
just buy what they need and not be you
19:26
know wiping out the shelves and taking
19:28
everything we just have a couple more
19:30
minutes here Governor Hogan so maybe for
19:33
some brief answers one we got a note
19:35
from Steve Larson from Maryland will the
19:37
beaches be open in Ocean City this
19:39
summer I know that the Ocean City mayor
19:43
and city council have been meeting and
19:45
talking about this it’s really it’s
19:47
really too early to tell I think there
19:49
probably will be some hope for some kind
19:52
of a season in Ocean City but whether
19:53
it’ll be normal that’s a big question
19:55
about how they’re gonna go about opening
19:57
opening opening beaches in a safe way
20:00
what would you mandate face coverings
20:03
masks during a reopening of Maryland is
20:06
certainly it depends on that’s one of
20:08
the things that our plan and visions
20:10
were working with industry sectors
20:12
depending on what the work is and how
20:15
closely their affiliates certain and
20:16
certainly in some places you are gonna
20:18
have to wear masks until we find a
20:20
vaccine or a cure homelessness is an
20:24
issue rent and mortgage payments are an
20:25
issue 50 Democratic lawmakers on
20:27
Wednesday praised you they also called
20:29
on you to cancel rent and mortgage
20:31
payments for residents and businesses
20:32
hurt by the pandemic will you do that
20:34
haven’t seen the letter yet from the
20:36
legislature legislatures I just I saw
20:39
that clip this morning in the news but
20:42
we have worked very closely to make sure
20:45
that people are suffering during this
20:46
time and we put a pause on evictions it
20:49
was one of the first things I did on
20:50
addictions and foreclosures so that
20:52
nobody came and nobody can have their
20:54
utilities cut off nobody can be evicted
20:56
nobody can be foreclosed on and we’re
20:58
gonna try to work with the lenders and
21:00
with landlords or at work through this
21:02
as we come out of this crisis because
21:04
certainly everybody’s been hurt
21:06
economically you just had a special
21:08
congressional election on Tuesday in
21:10
your state what was that experience like
21:13
and do you would you like to see all
21:15
mail-in voting this fall I just had a
21:19
good call yesterday with Congressman to
21:21
be kwazy and fumet who was elected to
21:23
fill the seat of Elijah Cummings the
21:25
election went very well I was sort of
21:27
surprised it was all done by mail with a
21:29
few exceptions of
21:30
people that didn’t have fixed addresses
21:31
or people that needed to go out in
21:33
person and it went if it came off
21:35
surprisingly well without a glitch and
21:38
you know we’re going to encourage people
21:39
in the June primary that that’s coming
21:41
up for the rest of the state to vote by
21:43
mail there will be the opportunity for
21:45
those who can’t have one polling place
21:47
each county for folks that for example
21:49
like they’re blind or don’t have a fixed
21:51
address that need to get out but most
21:53
people we want them to vote by mail it’s
21:55
the we want to have every vote counted
21:56
but we want people to be expressing
21:58
their vote and making their decisions in
22:00
a safe way final question here the last
22:03
time I visited with you in Annapolis it
22:06
was a for a political story you decided
22:08
not to run for president you were
22:10
thinking through the idea at the time
22:12
this week it was just announced that
22:14
congressman Justin Amash of Michigan is
22:16
considering a third party run would you
22:19
be willing to support him are you
22:20
leaning toward Vice President Biden or
22:23
President Trump you know in the middle
22:26
of the pandemic you know I haven’t quite
22:28
frankly Bob spent a lot of time thinking
22:30
about politics I think I know there’s an
22:32
election going on but my focus is on
22:35
trying to keep the people in my safe
22:36
state and running the NGA which is a
22:38
nonpartisan organization that requires
22:41
me to stay out of politics for a while
22:43
so I’ll pass on that question and we’ll
22:46
figure that out in November I’ll ask you
22:49
about that at some point though in the
22:50
coming months I’m sure about it I’m sure
22:52
you worried Thank You Governor Hogan for
22:55
joining us here at Washington Post live
22:56
we appreciate your time thank you Bob
22:58
thank you and thank all of you for
23:01
watching tune in tomorrow at Washington
23:03
Post live at 11:00 a.m. Eastern to catch
23:05
Post columnist David Ignatius he’s gonna
23:08
be in conversation with Ford Motor
23:09
Company CEO Jim Hackett for more
23:12
information on that and other programs
23:14
go to Washington Post live.com and
23:16
register but for now I’m Bob Costas
23:19
stay well and stay safe

Introducing Arc Publishing (Washington Post Content Managment)

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Front End Developer

No thank you, Mr. Pecker

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called “Catch and Kill” process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.

“After Mr. Trump became president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker’s loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for financing for acquisitions…”

Here’s a piece of context: My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me. It’s unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy.

President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post’s essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.

.. Back to the story: Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.

.. In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they’ll publish the photos, and quickly. And there’s an associated threat: They’ll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie.

Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here: I will not report embarrassing information about you if you do X for me. And if you don’t do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information.

.. These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism.