ANNAPOLIS, MD — Continuing their criticism of the federal government’s failure to supply adequate coronavirus testing kits, both Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday said President Donald Trump is trying to deflect attention from testing shortfalls by supporting rallies in the states to ease restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
Both governors said both states, along with the District of Columbia, continue to have increasing coronavirus cases. That doesn’t meet the president’s criteria of 14 days of declining cases in order to ease restrictions, Hogan told CNN. Northam responded that Trump’s claim testing capacity is fully sufficient is “delusional.”
Operation Gridlock Annapolis held Saturday and organized by Reopen Maryland demanded that the governor loosen his stay-at-home order and reopen the state by May 1. The protesters made their point with signs that said, “We are all essential, reopen MD,” “Open up our churches, we need Communion,” and “Freedom over fear.”
Hogan has said later this week he will outline how and over what time period Maryland can begin to return to a semblance of normalcy.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Northam denounced Trump’s tweets last week to “liberate” Virginia. “Our president obviously has been unable to deliver on tests and has chosen to focus on protests,” the Virginia governor said.
A gridlock rally similar to the one held in Annapolis is planned for Wednesday, April 22, in Richmond. Dubbed the Reopen Virginia Rally, the event’s Facebook page says it will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Capitol Square in Richmond.
“We are fighting a biological war, and we have been asked as governors to fight that war without the supplies we need,” Northam said.
Organizers of the Richmond rally say the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s peak coronavirus infection model projects 763 total coronavirus deaths in Virginia, with the peak for infections coming April 25.
“The last death is projected to take place in the first week of June, so infection would have occurred at some point between May 1st and May 15th,” organizers wrote online. “The flu has killed 782 Virginians, so far, and flu season continues through May. Do we shutdown the economy for the flu?”
For the latest on the new coronavirus in Maryland, DC and Virginia, get Patch news alerts.
The Virginia Department of Health on Sunday reported 19 more coronavirus deaths and 484 new cases, bringing the state’s death toll to 277 and the total number of cases to 8,537. Heath officials say they expect the numbers to go up as more tests become available.
Fairfax County has the highest number of confirmed cases in the state. The total: 1,809. Second on the list is Prince William County, with 742 positive tests.
“The administration is trying to ramp up testing,” Hogan said Sunday morning in an interview on CNN. “But to try to push this off to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just to get to work on testing, somehow we aren’t doing our job is just absolutely false.”
“Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests,” said Hogan, who is chairman of the National Governors Association. “It’s not accurate to say there’s plenty of testing out there and the governors should just get it done. That’s just not being straightforward.”
The Maryland Health Department on Sunday reported 23 more coronavirus deaths and 522 new cases, bringing the state’s death toll to 486 and the total number of cases to 12,830.
Click Here: Cheap FIJI Rugby Jersey
The Reopen Maryland group said on its Facebook page that they are “Maryland citizens concerned about the impact of mass shutdowns and school closures in response to COVID-19. We are committed to peaceful advocacy for public health measures that respect Marylanders’ civil rights, economic well-being and educational access. We support immediate, responsible reopening of our state’s business, educational and religious institutions.”
The D.C. Health Department confirmed Sunday five new deaths due to the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. This brings the total number of deaths from the virus in the District to 96.
On Sunday, the District also reported 127 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the city’s confirmed total to 2,793.
According to projection data updated Friday released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, DC passed its peak infection rate on April 14.
The IHME model says Maryland has reached its peak in daily coronavirus deaths. The IHME model projected April 19 as the peak for the state, and expects 46 coronavirus deaths on April 20. The organization uses overall trends to identify the peak date, rather than the single highest reported number.
To slow the transmission of the virus, face coverings are now required in retail establishments and on public transportation in Maryland. Those who are younger than 9 years old don’t have to wear them in retail environments.