Maryland delegation calls on Trump to allow use of federal facilities for coronavirus testing
Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post
Members of the Maryland congressional delegation urged President Trump to allow the state to use federal facilities, such as Fort Meade and the National Institutes of Health, for coronavirus testing.
In a letter to the president, the delegation said that designating the National Capital Region as a federally supported testing site is critical for the increased testing needed to reopen the region.
“In order to be able to first mitigate the outbreak and subsequently begin restarting our economy, we must utilize the full and complete testing resources that we have at the federal and state level,” the letter reads. “These labs can be key to ensuring the state’s recovery plan is successful and we get Marylanders back to work as safely and quickly as possible.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) made a similar request in mid-March.
The congressional letter is signed by Reps. Anthony G. Brown (D), Steny H. Hoyer (D), Andy Harris (R), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D), John Sarbanes (D), Jamie B. Raskin (D), David Trone (D) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D).
The lawmakers note that Vice President Pence on April 20 said that federal laboratories will be made available to states across the country.
After that, Trump chided Hogan for purchasing 500,000 tests from South Korea, saying that the governor “didn’t really understand” that he had testing capacity in Maryland. Hogan disagreed, saying the facilities existed but actual tests did not.
Hogan later sent a letter thanking the president and vice president for offering access to the sites and asked for guidance on moving forward, adding that the facilities could be “key” to using the 500,000 tests the state purchased. The lawmakers asked Trump to make the facilities available for testing “as soon as possible” and to provide them with a timeline for implementation and how much capacity each facility can handle.