Maryland obtains 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea

Maryland obtains 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea
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Maryland has obtained 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Monday, as states push to increase their testing capacity. 

Hogan’s wife, Yumi Hogan, is a Korean immigrant and had been on the phone in the middle of the night in recent weeks helping to secure the purchase, The New York Times reported Monday

“Luckily we had a very strong relationship with Korea,” Hogan told the Times. “But it should not have been this difficult.”

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“After weeks of diplomatic discussions and procurement efforts, the State of Maryland has acquired *500,000* COVID-19 tests from LabGenomics in South Korea,” Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci tweeted Monday

The move from Maryland comes as states are scrambling to try to increase their testing capacity amid persistent shortages of key supplies and are calling on the federal government for help. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE has repeatedly said it is the states’ responsibility to increase testing, not his, though his administration has taken some actions to try to help bump up capacity. Trump announced Sunday he would use the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of swabs, one of the key supplies facing shortages. 

“It's not accurate to say there's plenty of testing out there, and the governors should just get it done,” Hogan told CNN on Sunday. “That's just not being straightforward.”