Maryland Gov. Hogan acquires 500,000 test kits from South Korea

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday afternoon the receipt over the weekend of 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from South Korea. The delivery means the state now has more kits than the top four other states combined.

Gov. Hogan said, “We’ve been doing everything in our power” as his administration searched for weeks in the United States and abroad for more kits, which are in critically short supply.

On March 28, “Operation Enduring Friendship” was launched when the governor’s Korean-American wife Yumi spoke to the Korean ambassador to the United Nations. “We made a personal plea, in Korean, for their assistance,” Gov. Hogan said.

In the following weeks, calls were made nearly daily, often late at night as a result of the 13-hour time difference, to arrange for the purchase and transportation of the kits. The delivery itself was the first time a Korean Air jet landed at Baltimore-Washington Airport.

Other arrangements involved vetting the test’s producers, LabGenomics, and obtaining clearance from many federal agencies for the shipment.

Mrs. Hogan herself represents another first — she is the first Korean-American to serve as the first lady of any state. That relationship was noticed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a video call with state governors at the home of Ambassador to the United States Su-hyok Yi in February, when President Moon referred to Gov. Hogan as a “hang-gook sai,” or son-in-law, to the Korean people.

“I want to sincerely thank our Korean partners,” Gov. Hogan said, adding in Korean, “Gamsahabnida,” meaning, “Thank you.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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