WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joined FOX 5 for an exclusive commercial-free half-hour special on the COVID-19 pandemic live from Annapolis on Wednesday.
The Coronavirus Crisis: A FOX 5 Live Special with Governor Larry Hogan focused on viewer-submitted questions surrounding Maryland's swift response to stop the spread of the coronavirus, national implications of the pandemic and more.
Gov. Hogan was joined by Superintendent of Maryland Schools Dr. Karen Salmon and Maryland Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Fran Phillips.
During the special, FOX 5’s Tom Fitzgerald asked Gov. Hogan: “Where are we? Is Maryland better or worse off than where you saw we were heading?”
“We have a great team of people working really hard to fight this thing with everything we’ve got, and we’ve taken unprecedented steps, but it’s going to continue to get worse before it gets better and we got a lot of work ahead of us,” said Gov. Hogan.
A FOX 5 viewer asked Gov. Hogan about President Trump's comments on returning to normalcy around Easter. Here's what the governor had to say:
“All of the decisions that we make are made based on the real advice that we get from doctors and from scientists. We’re all hopeful and we’d love to get back to work and back to school by Easter but I think it’s just unrealistic based on all of the data that we’ve seen it’s not really helpful for the President to make those kinds of comments… I don’t want to be critical of the President, I don’t want to point fingers, we’re all in this together, we just can’t make those kinds of statements. We don’t have an exact date and nobody frankly knows when we’re going to peak and when we’re going to get back to normal,” said Gov. Hogan.
Meanwhile, FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco held a virtual watch party during the special. Watch below:
A Montgomery County Public Schools teacher asked about distance learning and equity for all students amid the pandemic. Dr. Salmon had this to say:
"We have systems that are actually giving out individual laptops to our students and these are all scheduled. Elementary students are driving up to get their meals and they’re getting learning packets at the same time,” said Dr. Salmon. “So, I would have to say that it’s well-coordinated and it will get better every day and get better every week and we hope to provide a great four weeks of continuity of learning.”
FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald asked Phillips the following question on the opening of older hospital and hospital beds:
“Are we where we need to be in the state of Maryland on [hospital] beds and where are we at in the reopening of some of those old hospitals to increase the bed space?”
“We know that we will see a surge — a dramatic increase on those who will need to be hospitalized and some of those people will be in critical condition. They will need to be in ICUs and some of them will need to be on ventilators, and so, with regard to our hospital capacity, right now, all of our hospitals in Maryland are on alert. They have completely canceled non-emergent elective procedure as to make way for hospital beds, right now, in hospitals that are available and fully staffed," said Phillips.