White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday accused Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of engaging in “revisionist history” for writing a scathing criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform ‘was vicious’ White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report MORE’s coronavirus response.
Asked about Hogan’s Washington Post op-ed, published earlier Thursday, McEnany argued that his criticisms were out of step with some of his previous remarks about the federal government’s response to the virus.
“It’s really striking, his comments, especially when you compare them to his past comments,” McEnany told reporters. “This is revisionist history by Gov. Hogan.”
McEnany referred to comments Hogan made on a March 19 video conference with Trump and Vice President Pence during which he thanked them for their communication.
She also pointed to remarks Hogan made during an April 17 press conference when he said he had thanked Trump on a video conference for progress on federal and state coordination on ventilators, testing capabilities and the availability of critical medical supplies.
Even before Hogan’s op-ed in the Post, he has at times bluntly criticized Trump’s handling of the public health crisis.
Hogan on Thursday wrote that the president left states to fend for themselves in securing supplies and faulted Trump for downplaying the pandemic and eschewing the guidance of public health officials.
“I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals,” Hogan wrote.
“Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. So every governor went their own way, which is how the United States ended up with such a patchwork response,” he added.
Hogan, who has said he is interested in a 2024 presidential run, also used the op-ed to recount his decision to obtain 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea in April.
Trump has come under intense criticism for downplaying the risks of coronavirus, including after he recently predicted the deadly disease would “disappear” amid new surges in cases. His administration also faced scrutiny for early delays in testing that cost time in responding to the virus. The Trump administration issued a plan on testing in May that largely put the burden on states to increase their capabilities.
Hogan’s op-ed comes as Trump urges schools across the country to hold in-person classes this fall, saying last week he would put pressure on governors to open classrooms. The issue is likely to increase tensions between the president and state and local leaders as the new school year draws closer.