Maryland governor says Trump's "mixed messages" on disinfectants led to confusion in his state

Gov. Hogan says Trump's "mixed messages" on disinfectants led to confusion
Gov. Hogan says Trump's "mixed messages" on d... 07:13

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Sunday he has raised concerns about "mixed messaging" coming from the White House during the coronavirus crisis and stressed that it's "critical" for the president to stick to facts as he seeks to inform the American people about the pandemic.

"It's critical that the president of the United States, when people are really scared and in the middle of this worldwide pandemic, in these press conferences that we really get the facts out there, and unfortunately some of the messaging has not been great, the mixed messaging," Hogan said on "Face the Nation."

The Republican governor added that he's "raised concerns multiple times about conflicting messages."

During the lengthy and wide-ranging briefings from the White House coronavirus task force, Mr. Trump has at times found himself at odds with the nation's top scientists and doctors. The president, for example, has suggested the coronavirus could "miraculously disappear," while Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Wednesday "we will have coronavirus in the fall."

On Thursday, the president speculated about injecting disinfectants as a possible treatment for coronavirus, a comment that received widespread condemnation. Mr. Trump then walked back the remark, telling reporters Friday he was being sarcastic.

Hogan said that in the wake of Mr. Trump's comments about disinfectants, Maryland received "hundreds of calls" to its hotline.

It's "hard to imagine that people thought that that was serious," he said. ""But what people actually were thinking about this was this something you could do to protect yourself?"

Hogan said that particularly during the middle of a pandemic, "it's always critically important for a leader to put out the facts and to be as open and honest and transparent as possible."

As the country begins to focus on recovery from the epidemic and some states begin easing restrictions on businesses and residents' activities, there have been calls from governors for a national testing strategy and assistance from the federal government to ramp up testing and address shortages of the testing supplies.

Last week, after Mr. Trump asserted that testing is "local," Hogan secured 500,000 tests from South Korea, But he said he is "not sure it should've been that difficult." Still, the Maryland governor acknowledged the White House has made progress on boosting the number of labs available and ramping up production.

"We should have more assistance from the federal government on testing," Hogan, who also chairs the National Governors Association, said. "I think we finally have driven that message home."