Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday released a cautious, deliberate 10-step “roadmap to recovery” intended to provide guidance to other states.
Hogan, who published the guidance through the National Governors Association, which he chairs, said he will release a plan specific to Maryland later today.
The report calls on states to expand testing, contact tracing and hospital capacity before taking steps to reopen the economy. The report says coronavirus transmissions need to decline for at least two weeks before reopening the economy, following the guidance of public health experts.
On the economic side, the plan focuses in large part on consumer confidence, arguing the best way to get people back into restaurants and movie theaters is to take control of the pandemic.
“Opening prematurely – or opening without the tools in place to rapidly identify and stop the spread of the virus – could send states back into crisis mode, push health systems past capacity, and force states back into strict social distancing measures,” the report warns.
“From the perspective of reopening the economy, success will be measured by the ability to move from stage to stage in loosening social distancing requirements,” it says. “It will also be measured by the long-term trajectory of recovery, and whether moving between stages is done safely and in a way that improves public confidence and supports increased economic activity.”
The report further raises Hogan’s profile on the national stage.
In the absence of stronger federal leadership, Hogan, who is seen as one of the country’s most effective governors during the pandemic, is raising his profile on the national stage.
He has been busy with national media appearances and received positive press after securing equipment for 500,000 covid-19 tests. Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, who is South Korean, was instrumental in securing the test kits from a South Korean company.
The report stresses the need for federal support and urges governors to continue lobbying Congress and the White House for more resources.
Read the report here.