Governor Hogan penned an op-ed in USA Today defending Dr. Anthony Fauci from the political attacks that have been launched against him.
As Governor Hogan writes, “we don’t need Dr. Fauci to be the final word. We need him to give us a clear-eyed view of the evidence as we know it at the time — even if we don’t always want to hear it.”
Tomorrow at 9:30am ET, Governor Hogan will join former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb for an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) event to discuss how Maryland is confronting the pandemic and what we can do to better prepare for its continued risks.
**Governors like me rely on experts for COVID facts. Dr. Fauci has never let me down
**Governor Larry Hogan
July 20, 2020
“When America’s top public health experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, are sidelined or undermined for political purposes, that’s not just a problem for the public, which desperately needs credible information and voices. It’s a problem for America’s governors as we work with our federal partners out of the public view.
In this crisis, again and again, we’ve turned to these experts like Dr. Fauci for the hard facts and to be voices of reason within the sprawling federal bureaucracy.
The first time I met Dr. Fauci was in early February, when as chair of the National Governors Association, I convened a meeting with the nation’s governors and the federal government’s top health officials: Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Ken Cuccinelli, acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control; Jay Butler, CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases; and Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services.
At a time when other federal leaders — including President Donald Trump — were downplaying the threat, the briefing was a game changer for me and many of my colleagues.
Dr. Fauci and the team walked us through some of the horrifying scenarios that would unfold in our states only a couple months later and offered concrete suggestions on how we could begin to prepare.
Right after that meeting, I went back to my team with a clear message: Get ready. And I began to reach out to some of the top public health experts in our country to form my own coronavirus response team that would be invaluable during this crisis.
If it hadn’t been for that warning, there is no doubt that many states, including mine, would have been even less prepared for what was to come.
In late March, I was growing increasingly worried about an issue even closer to home. I was seeing evidence that the Washington, D.C. region, which includes Maryland and Virginia, could well be an impending hot spot.
I called President Trump directly to raise this concern. I didn’t get a call back. I phoned Vice President Mike Pence, who usually returned my calls promptly. This time he did not. But I spent the first weekend of April on the phone with all the other people who needed to hear about this: Dr. Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Assistant Health Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir; Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
‘I know you guys are focused on the big picture,’ I said to Dr. Fauci, ‘but I’m paying attention to something important that’s happening right here in your own backyard.’
I laid out my capital region concern. ‘I think you’re exactly right, Governor,’ Fauci said to me in his famous gravelly voice. ‘Right now, as we speak, I’m pulling into the parking lot at the White House. I’m going to raise the issue with the whole task force.’
And Dr. Fauci never let me or the people of Maryland down. I shudder to think where our country would be today without him.
I don’t mean to suggest that the experts like Dr. Fauci always get it right. They’re learning as we go along just like the rest of us.
And leaders — when making complex and difficult decisions — can’t only rely on public health experts. It’s our job to get input from diverse perspectives and consider how our policies impact everyone. That’s why my Coronavirus Recovery Team includes the brightest minds over a broad spectrum of fields, from the medical and scientific fields to business and community leadership.
We don’t need Dr. Fauci to be the final word. We need him to give us a clear-eyed view of the evidence as we know it at the time — even if we don’t always want to hear it.
As much as we would like it to be, this crisis is not nearly behind us. We have enormous challenges still ahead of us.
With some states experiencing massive spikes, we need to know the science to help contain the spread. As the public experiences fatigue from months of social distancing, we need steady and reliable voices who can remind us to stay vigilant. And as we work to open school in the fall safely, we need the input of public health experts to guide how we can make it work. We need Dr. Fauci more than ever.”