Trump Told America’s Governors They Were On Their Own. So Maryland’s Larry Hogan Is Taking Charge

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Larry Hogan has got another of his ideas, and this one cracks him up. “I’m gonna call Pence!” says Hogan, startling his chief of staff, Matt Clark, who sits across a large, round faux-wood table. Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, is meeting with his coronavirus command team, a skeleton crew of state officials still reporting to the capitol in Annapolis. The conference rooms are all too narrow, so they are gathered in a cavernous event room, seated in alternate chairs to maintain social distancing. Hogan, a ruddy 63-year-old with jug-handle ears, has in front of him a dispenser of hand sanitizer, a can of Diet Coke and a starfish-shaped conference-call speaker.

The President, Hogan reminds the group, recently chided him for going around Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force to procure supplies. “Remember, Trump said, ‘He’s wasting his time. He should’ve just called Mike!'” He laughs a wheezy laugh. “So I’m gonna joke with him and say, ‘Hey, Mike, where’s my tests? The President said I should just call you!’ But then seriously say, ‘You both said we can use federal labs. When can we start?'”

“Right. Got it,” Clark says.

“I got a feeling they’re gonna backpedal on all that,” Hogan says.

Like every other governor in America, Hogan is dealing with a crisis for which there is no playbook. The team assembled here began its April 22 briefing on a somber note, as the state’s health secretary, Bobby Neall, read off the numbers: 14,775 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 582 from the day before; 631 deaths in the past five weeks, up 47 from the previous day’s count. Hogan was briefed about a possible outbreak at a chicken plant on the Delaware border and about a convention center being converted into a field hospital; he got word that his latest shipment of testing supplies from South Korea had arrived, greeted at Baltimore-Washington International Airport by his Korean-American wife Yumi with platters of crab cakes and kimchi.

Hogan has worked around the clock since declaring a state of emergency 48 days earlier, issuing 38 executive orders and calling up the state’s National Guard. The closest thing he can imagine is a natural disaster, he says, but even that doesn’t capture it. “This is like a hurricane that hits all 50 states every single day,” he tells me later, crammed into a navy blue armchair in his spacious office decorated with memorabilia. “And it continues in intensity. It doesn’t go away. It just keeps hitting, hitting, hitting.”

From Tallahassee to Olympia, in big states and small, every governor in America has improvised something like this, scrambling to keep up with the outbreak. The governors are constantly comparing notes–in the past 24 hours, Hogan tells me, he’s texted with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. As chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), Hogan has tried to coordinate their efforts, convening a series of calls in which they trade ideas and information.

The cooperation has been crucial. Governors will tell you they’re always the officials whose leadership most directly affects people’s lives. But that’s been truer than ever in the current crisis, as Trump has been more occupied with defending his performance and casting blame than with mounting the kind of coordinated national effort that other countries’ leaders have orchestrated. While the White House has funneled some supplies to the states, Trump has disavowed responsibility for testing and equipment shortfalls and passed the buck to the governors. The result has been a kind of federalist free-for-all, with state leaders pitted against one another in bidding wars for scarce equipment, and against the President, whose very office was created to avoid such anarchy.

Now the governors face perhaps their hardest decision: how and when to ease COVID-19 restrictions and start to reopen their states. The question of how to balance public health and economic activity has transcended partisanship: Democrat Jay Inslee of Washington and Republican Mike DeWine of Ohio are among those who have drawn praise for their efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Hogan, a popular moderate who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 and doesn’t plan to in November, has drawn acclaim for his similarly aggressive tack. One recent poll found 84% of Marylanders approved of his handling of the crisis. The GOP veteran, who was re-elected by a healthy margin in 2018, has emerged as a unifying figure in his role as head of the NGA.

It’s not what Hogan envisioned for his chairmanship, a largely ceremonial position that he’d planned to use to push for national infrastructure when he took it last July. In early February, when the governors converged on Washington for their semiannual meeting, Trump was still casting the virus as a nonissue that would go away on its own. Hogan arranged for the group to be briefed by experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The stark warning the experts delivered was so at odds with the public discussion that it made many of the governors sit up in their seats and return home with a sense of urgency. If the U.S. muddles through the current crisis, it will be because America’s governors stepped up to the plate–at least in part because of Hogan. Perhaps not coincidentally, several of the governors who’ve come in for the most criticism for their lackadaisical handling of the pandemic–including Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Florida’s Ron DeSantis–are not dues-paying NGA members and weren’t at the meeting.

The crisis has provided a lesson not just in the governors’ varying levels of executive competence but also in the nature of political leadership itself. The virus doesn’t care about the policy debates and penny-ante scandals that dominate political campaigns. In an all-consuming crisis, what people want is empathy and urgency: the steady hand, the decisive manager, the clear communicator. The kind of leader creative enough to negotiate with a foreign government 13 time zones away to procure the testing kits the federal government has failed to provide. Hogan was one of the first governors in America to declare a state of emergency and the first in the region to order public schools to close. He’s overseen the addition of 6,000 new hospital beds to the state’s capacity. “I want them to know that we’re making decisions based on the science and the facts,” Hogan says of his constituents, “but also that we care, that I empathize with what they’re going through.”

At 1 P.M., Hogan settles back at the table for today’s governors-only teleconference. Forty-four governors have dialed in to the call, the 16th Hogan has convened since the start of the pandemic. “My question is, for those who received the Abbott machines, we received 15, but we only received 120 cartridges and/or kits we could actually test with,” says Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky. “Is anybody getting any more of these kits from the federal government?”

The rapid-testing device made by Abbott Laboratories, a sleek white gizmo the size of a bread box, was touted by Trump in a March 29 Rose Garden press conference. The President called the machine, which can produce a result in as little as five minutes, “a whole new ballgame.” The truth fell far short of that boast.

“Andy, this is Andrew,” New York’s Governor Cuomo replies. “My experience is, these companies will sell the machines, which are several million dollars each, but then they don’t deliver the test kits and the reagents. And then they say the federal government is doing the allocation of the test kits.” (In a statement, Abbott said the allotment to states was “only a fraction” of its tests.)

Two more governors say they’ve faced some of the same difficulties, while another says she can’t even figure out whom in Washington to call about tests. (Hogan gives her a name.) Several of the governors complain that the Administration seems less interested in helping than in finding ways to shift blame to the states.

These calls have been a lifeline for the governors, their principal source of unfiltered information and advice from their colleagues in the trenches of the battle against the virus. “The NGA’s never been as important as it is now, probably in decades, if not ever,” Cuomo says. The governors have been thrust into a no-win situation by the federal government, he says, making it all the more important that they stick together.

As the governors speak, Congress and the White House have just struck a deal to spend $484 billion to replenish a small-business aid fund. But money for state and local governments got negotiated away, shelved for the next bill. It’s a major problem for the governors, whose tax revenues have taken a massive hit from the crisis. Just 90 days of state-ordered sheltering in place is projected to blow an estimated $3 billion hole in Maryland’s $50 billion annual budget. The very governments that are providing vital services to keep their locked-down states afloat have been thanked for their efforts with a pile of bills they can’t pay. And while Trump has repeatedly expressed support for sending aid to the states, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on the idea, saying states should explore bankruptcy instead.

That’s not the only burden the states face. The recent congressional aid package that expanded unemployment benefits mandated that they be extended to independent contractors and the self-employed. But the package gave the states, which administer unemployment insurance, no mechanism to distribute these benefits. The phone lines of Maryland’s unemployment office were jammed with tens of thousands of calls, Hogan says. The governors on the call exchange tips on creating websites to deal with the problem.

Hogan crouches impatiently over the conference-call starfish, rifling through his stack of papers. He’s short and round, with a pronounced Maryland accent. Once blessed with a big white swoosh of Republican-real-estate-developer hair, he’s worn it close-shaved since recovering from lymphoma in 2015. As with most authentic-seeming politicians, there’s more than a little ambition behind Hogan’s regular-guy persona. His father was a Republican Congressman–the first Republican member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to call for President Richard Nixon’s impeachment–and a young Hogan hoped to follow him into politics. But after two failed runs for Congress, he went into business instead, pausing to serve a stint as appointments secretary to Governor Robert Ehrlich from 2003 to 2007.

When Hogan sought the governorship in 2014, he cast himself as a fiscally focused uniter who would cut taxes and forswear social issues. But Maryland was trending so blue that the forecaster Nate Silver gave Hogan a less than 10% chance of victory. “This is a guy nobody thought had a chance to win, but I could just tell he had real skills,” says Hogan’s friend Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor.

Hogan was tested early. Three months after he was sworn in, riots broke out in Baltimore over the death in police custody of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Hogan went to Baltimore and set up a command post, working from the city and walking the streets every day. Keiffer Mitchell, a Democratic former Baltimore city councilman who now serves in Hogan’s cabinet, recalls advising Hogan against approaching a group of gang members with neck tattoos. But the governor ignored him and won them over, Mitchell says, promising to attend to priorities like rec centers if they’d help him keep the city safe.

Just two months after the protests, Hogan was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rather than seclude himself during his treatment, he chronicled the illness on Facebook, posting pictures of himself hooked up to chemotherapy tubes or working from the hospital. Letters and comments poured in from Marylanders who’d been through or watched a loved one go through a similar ordeal.

The current crisis has showcased Hogan’s resourcefulness. Faced with the shortage of testing kits that has bedeviled many states, Hogan noticed that his wife Yumi’s native South Korea had a surplus. The country had a policy of not selling to states. But over three weeks of intensive negotiations in her native language, Yumi Hogan–an abstract painter who is thought to be America’s first Korean-American first lady–helped broker a deal to purchase 500,000 tests and fly them to Maryland on idled Korean Air passenger planes. The talks were conducted in secrecy to prevent the federal government from intercepting and commandeering the shipment, as it has done with other supplies acquired by states. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the tests while the plane was in the air.

Hogan’s testing coup angered Trump. “He didn’t understand too much about what was going on,” Trump said of Hogan on April 20. Hogan says Washington followed up by sending him a list of laboratories in his state, none of which had coronavirus tests on hand. Most were federal government labs the state couldn’t even access. Hence the appeal to Pence.

Hogan’s reputation for pragmatism and moderation has won him approval scores in the 70s from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike and from both white and African-American residents. “I can’t even find Democrats in my own family who disapprove of the job he’s doing,” says Donna Edwards, a former Democratic Congresswoman from Maryland’s D.C. suburbs. In 2016, Hogan boycotted the Republican National Convention and wrote in his father’s name on his presidential ballot. “That was the kind of Republican that I wanted to vote for,” Hogan tells me. Last year, a group of anti-Trump Republicans tried to persuade Hogan to run for President. Hogan, as he puts it, “didn’t throw them out of my office,” but eventually decided Trump’s popularity with the Republican base made him unbeatable in a primary.

Hogan’s father died in 2017. The governor hasn’t decided whom to vote for this November. He doesn’t rule out voting Democratic. As for Trump, Hogan says, “he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind.”

When i ask Hogan what he misses most about life before the pandemic, he gets wistful. “I’m a people person,” he says. “Usually I’d be at events all day and all night.” One of the highlights of Hogan’s year is opening day of the baseball season in the spring, when he spends hours walking around Oriole Park at Camden Yards, greeting people, shaking thousands of hands and taking hundreds of selfies. This year, of course, there was no opening day. “That’s what I miss about normal life,” he says. “I miss people.”

On April 24, Hogan announced a phased reopening plan based on a series of testing and tracing benchmarks. The point is to keep people safe, he tells me, but also to give them hope: they have to know there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. That the leaders they’ve elected have a plan, even if it’s far from clear when they’ll be able to put it into effect.

The credibility Hogan’s built with his constituents will be critical to the reopening effort. It’s a quality that’s been in short supply in the White House, where a few hours after Hogan speaks, Trump will force Redfield to “correct” an article that quoted him accurately, and where the next day the President will muse about injecting disinfectant into people’s bodies. After receiving hundreds of calls to its hotline, Maryland’s emergency-management agency is forced to issue a warning that “under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.”

For the most part, Maryland’s residents have followed Hogan’s lead. A small protest erupted in Annapolis on April 18, demanding an end to the governor’s stay-at-home order. Hogan wasn’t there to see it because he was at the airport receiving the South Korean test kits. “I didn’t think it was helpful for the President to be encouraging people to go out and protest,” he says. Trump’s tweets urging people to “liberate” certain states, he notes, came the day after the President’s own Administration issued guidelines calling for the stay-at-home orders to be kept in place for now.

To the protesters, however, Hogan offers not a rebuke but sympathy. “I get the frustration,” he says. “I want it to be over, you know? I’m tired of it also.” As the pandemic response moves into its next phase, it will be up to Hogan and the other governors to lead the way.

TIME.com

Larry Hogan has got another of his ideas, and this one cracks him up. “I’m gonna call Pence!” says Hogan, startling his chief of staff, Matt Clark, who sits across a large, round faux-wood table. Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, is meeting with his coronavirus command team, a skeleton crew of state officials still reporting to the capitol in Annapolis. The conference rooms are all too narrow, so they are gathered in a cavernous event room, seated in alternate chairs to maintain social distancing. Hogan, a ruddy 63-year-old with jug-handle ears, has in front of him a dispenser of hand sanitizer, a can of Diet Coke and a starfish-shaped conference-call speaker.

The President, Hogan reminds the group, recently chided him for going around Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force to procure supplies. “Remember, Trump said, ‘He’s wasting his time. He should’ve just called Mike!'” He laughs a wheezy laugh. “So I’m gonna joke with him and say, ‘Hey, Mike, where’s my tests? The President said I should just call you!’ But then seriously say, ‘You both said we can use federal labs. When can we start?'”

“Right. Got it,” Clark says.

“I got a feeling they’re gonna backpedal on all that,” Hogan says.

Like every other governor in America, Hogan is dealing with a crisis for which there is no playbook. The team assembled here began its April 22 briefing on a somber note, as the state’s health secretary, Bobby Neall, read off the numbers: 14,775 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 582 from the day before; 631 deaths in the past five weeks, up 47 from the previous day’s count. Hogan was briefed about a possible outbreak at a chicken plant on the Delaware border and about a convention center being converted into a field hospital; he got word that his latest shipment of testing supplies from South Korea had arrived, greeted at Baltimore-Washington International Airport by his Korean-American wife Yumi with platters of crab cakes and kimchi.

Hogan has worked around the clock since declaring a state of emergency 48 days earlier, issuing 38 executive orders and calling up the state’s National Guard. The closest thing he can imagine is a natural disaster, he says, but even that doesn’t capture it. “This is like a hurricane that hits all 50 states every single day,” he tells me later, crammed into a navy blue armchair in his spacious office decorated with memorabilia. “And it continues in intensity. It doesn’t go away. It just keeps hitting, hitting, hitting.”

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From Tallahassee to Olympia, in big states and small, every governor in America has improvised something like this, scrambling to keep up with the outbreak. The governors are constantly comparing notes–in the past 24 hours, Hogan tells me, he’s texted with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. As chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), Hogan has tried to coordinate their efforts, convening a series of calls in which they trade ideas and information.

The cooperation has been crucial. Governors will tell you they’re always the officials whose leadership most directly affects people’s lives. But that’s been truer than ever in the current crisis, as Trump has been more occupied with defending his performance and casting blame than with mounting the kind of coordinated national effort that other countries’ leaders have orchestrated. While the White House has funneled some supplies to the states, Trump has disavowed responsibility for testing and equipment shortfalls and passed the buck to the governors. The result has been a kind of federalist free-for-all, with state leaders pitted against one another in bidding wars for scarce equipment, and against the President, whose very office was created to avoid such anarchy.

Now the governors face perhaps their hardest decision: how and when to ease COVID-19 restrictions and start to reopen their states. The question of how to balance public health and economic activity has transcended partisanship: Democrat Jay Inslee of Washington and Republican Mike DeWine of Ohio are among those who have drawn praise for their efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Hogan, a popular moderate who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 and doesn’t plan to in November, has drawn acclaim for his similarly aggressive tack. One recent poll found 84% of Marylanders approved of his handling of the crisis. The GOP veteran, who was re-elected by a healthy margin in 2018, has emerged as a unifying figure in his role as head of the NGA.

It’s not what Hogan envisioned for his chairmanship, a largely ceremonial position that he’d planned to use to push for national infrastructure when he took it last July. In early February, when the governors converged on Washington for their semiannual meeting, Trump was still casting the virus as a nonissue that would go away on its own. Hogan arranged for the group to be briefed by experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The stark warning the experts delivered was so at odds with the public discussion that it made many of the governors sit up in their seats and return home with a sense of urgency. If the U.S. muddles through the current crisis, it will be because America’s governors stepped up to the plate–at least in part because of Hogan. Perhaps not coincidentally, several of the governors who’ve come in for the most criticism for their lackadaisical handling of the pandemic–including Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Florida’s Ron DeSantis–are not dues-paying NGA members and weren’t at the meeting.

The crisis has provided a lesson not just in the governors’ varying levels of executive competence but also in the nature of political leadership itself. The virus doesn’t care about the policy debates and penny-ante scandals that dominate political campaigns. In an all-consuming crisis, what people want is empathy and urgency: the steady hand, the decisive manager, the clear communicator. The kind of leader creative enough to negotiate with a foreign government 13 time zones away to procure the testing kits the federal government has failed to provide. Hogan was one of the first governors in America to declare a state of emergency and the first in the region to order public schools to close. He’s overseen the addition of 6,000 new hospital beds to the state’s capacity. “I want them to know that we’re making decisions based on the science and the facts,” Hogan says of his constituents, “but also that we care, that I empathize with what they’re going through.”

At 1 P.M., Hogan settles back at the table for today’s governors-only teleconference. Forty-four governors have dialed in to the call, the 16th Hogan has convened since the start of the pandemic. “My question is, for those who received the Abbott machines, we received 15, but we only received 120 cartridges and/or kits we could actually test with,” says Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky. “Is anybody getting any more of these kits from the federal government?”

The rapid-testing device made by Abbott Laboratories, a sleek white gizmo the size of a bread box, was touted by Trump in a March 29 Rose Garden press conference. The President called the machine, which can produce a result in as little as five minutes, “a whole new ballgame.” The truth fell far short of that boast.

“Andy, this is Andrew,” New York’s Governor Cuomo replies. “My experience is, these companies will sell the machines, which are several million dollars each, but then they don’t deliver the test kits and the reagents. And then they say the federal government is doing the allocation of the test kits.” (In a statement, Abbott said the allotment to states was “only a fraction” of its tests.)

Two more governors say they’ve faced some of the same difficulties, while another says she can’t even figure out whom in Washington to call about tests. (Hogan gives her a name.) Several of the governors complain that the Administration seems less interested in helping than in finding ways to shift blame to the states.

These calls have been a lifeline for the governors, their principal source of unfiltered information and advice from their colleagues in the trenches of the battle against the virus. “The NGA’s never been as important as it is now, probably in decades, if not ever,” Cuomo says. The governors have been thrust into a no-win situation by the federal government, he says, making it all the more important that they stick together.

As the governors speak, Congress and the White House have just struck a deal to spend $484 billion to replenish a small-business aid fund. But money for state and local governments got negotiated away, shelved for the next bill. It’s a major problem for the governors, whose tax revenues have taken a massive hit from the crisis. Just 90 days of state-ordered sheltering in place is projected to blow an estimated $3 billion hole in Maryland’s $50 billion annual budget. The very governments that are providing vital services to keep their locked-down states afloat have been thanked for their efforts with a pile of bills they can’t pay. And while Trump has repeatedly expressed support for sending aid to the states, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on the idea, saying states should explore bankruptcy instead.

That’s not the only burden the states face. The recent congressional aid package that expanded unemployment benefits mandated that they be extended to independent contractors and the self-employed. But the package gave the states, which administer unemployment insurance, no mechanism to distribute these benefits. The phone lines of Maryland’s unemployment office were jammed with tens of thousands of calls, Hogan says. The governors on the call exchange tips on creating websites to deal with the problem.

Hogan crouches impatiently over the conference-call starfish, rifling through his stack of papers. He’s short and round, with a pronounced Maryland accent. Once blessed with a big white swoosh of Republican-real-estate-developer hair, he’s worn it close-shaved since recovering from lymphoma in 2015. As with most authentic-seeming politicians, there’s more than a little ambition behind Hogan’s regular-guy persona. His father was a Republican Congressman–the first Republican member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to call for President Richard Nixon’s impeachment–and a young Hogan hoped to follow him into politics. But after two failed runs for Congress, he went into business instead, pausing to serve a stint as appointments secretary to Governor Robert Ehrlich from 2003 to 2007.

When Hogan sought the governorship in 2014, he cast himself as a fiscally focused uniter who would cut taxes and forswear social issues. But Maryland was trending so blue that the forecaster Nate Silver gave Hogan a less than 10% chance of victory. “This is a guy nobody thought had a chance to win, but I could just tell he had real skills,” says Hogan’s friend Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor.

Hogan was tested early. Three months after he was sworn in, riots broke out in Baltimore over the death in police custody of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Hogan went to Baltimore and set up a command post, working from the city and walking the streets every day. Keiffer Mitchell, a Democratic former Baltimore city councilman who now serves in Hogan’s cabinet, recalls advising Hogan against approaching a group of gang members with neck tattoos. But the governor ignored him and won them over, Mitchell says, promising to attend to priorities like rec centers if they’d help him keep the city safe.

Just two months after the protests, Hogan was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rather than seclude himself during his treatment, he chronicled the illness on Facebook, posting pictures of himself hooked up to chemotherapy tubes or working from the hospital. Letters and comments poured in from Marylanders who’d been through or watched a loved one go through a similar ordeal.

The current crisis has showcased Hogan’s resourcefulness. Faced with the shortage of testing kits that has bedeviled many states, Hogan noticed that his wife Yumi’s native South Korea had a surplus. The country had a policy of not selling to states. But over three weeks of intensive negotiations in her native language, Yumi Hogan–an abstract painter who is thought to be America’s first Korean-American first lady–helped broker a deal to purchase 500,000 tests and fly them to Maryland on idled Korean Air passenger planes. The talks were conducted in secrecy to prevent the federal government from intercepting and commandeering the shipment, as it has done with other supplies acquired by states. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the tests while the plane was in the air.

Hogan’s testing coup angered Trump. “He didn’t understand too much about what was going on,” Trump said of Hogan on April 20. Hogan says Washington followed up by sending him a list of laboratories in his state, none of which had coronavirus tests on hand. Most were federal government labs the state couldn’t even access. Hence the appeal to Pence.

Hogan’s reputation for pragmatism and moderation has won him approval scores in the 70s from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike and from both white and African-American residents. “I can’t even find Democrats in my own family who disapprove of the job he’s doing,” says Donna Edwards, a former Democratic Congresswoman from Maryland’s D.C. suburbs. In 2016, Hogan boycotted the Republican National Convention and wrote in his father’s name on his presidential ballot. “That was the kind of Republican that I wanted to vote for,” Hogan tells me. Last year, a group of anti-Trump Republicans tried to persuade Hogan to run for President. Hogan, as he puts it, “didn’t throw them out of my office,” but eventually decided Trump’s popularity with the Republican base made him unbeatable in a primary.

Hogan’s father died in 2017. The governor hasn’t decided whom to vote for this November. He doesn’t rule out voting Democratic. As for Trump, Hogan says, “he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind.”

When i ask Hogan what he misses most about life before the pandemic, he gets wistful. “I’m a people person,” he says. “Usually I’d be at events all day and all night.” One of the highlights of Hogan’s year is opening day of the baseball season in the spring, when he spends hours walking around Oriole Park at Camden Yards, greeting people, shaking thousands of hands and taking hundreds of selfies. This year, of course, there was no opening day. “That’s what I miss about normal life,” he says. “I miss people.”

On April 24, Hogan announced a phased reopening plan based on a series of testing and tracing benchmarks. The point is to keep people safe, he tells me, but also to give them hope: they have to know there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. That the leaders they’ve elected have a plan, even if it’s far from clear when they’ll be able to put it into effect.

The credibility Hogan’s built with his constituents will be critical to the reopening effort. It’s a quality that’s been in short supply in the White House, where a few hours after Hogan speaks, Trump will force Redfield to “correct” an article that quoted him accurately, and where the next day the President will muse about injecting disinfectant into people’s bodies. After receiving hundreds of calls to its hotline, Maryland’s emergency-management agency is forced to issue a warning that “under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.”

For the most part, Maryland’s residents have followed Hogan’s lead. A small protest erupted in Annapolis on April 18, demanding an end to the governor’s stay-at-home order. Hogan wasn’t there to see it because he was at the airport receiving the South Korean test kits. “I didn’t think it was helpful for the President to be encouraging people to go out and protest,” he says. Trump’s tweets urging people to “liberate” certain states, he notes, came the day after the President’s own Administration issued guidelines calling for the stay-at-home orders to be kept in place for now.

To the protesters, however, Hogan offers not a rebuke but sympathy. “I get the frustration,” he says. “I want it to be over, you know? I’m tired of it also.” As the pandemic response moves into its next phase, it will be up to Hogan and the other governors to lead the way.

This appears in the May 11, 2020 issue of TIME.

Write to Molly Ball at [email protected].


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11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year

11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?

15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
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