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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told “Bill Hemmer Reports“Monday that he had ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in his state in the hope of saving “thousands of lives” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we talk to the expert doctors from places like John Hopkins and the University of Maryland … they talk to us about catastrophic failures of the health care system,” Hogan said. “If we don’t do something to stop this spike in the curve, the fact is we will not have ICU beds and ventilators … You look at what happened in places like Italy and what is happening in New York. We don’t want that to happen in each of our states.”
Hogan’s order that all non-essential businesses close their doors at 5 p.m. ET Monday followed his order earlier this month to close schools, as well as his ban dine-in service at bars and restaurants statewide.
“These [were] unprecedented steps that we could not have possibly imagined a week or two ago, but now, they’ve become absolutely necessary,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s latest order will allow hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, farmer’s markets, convenience stores, liquor stores, laundromats, dry cleaners, and banks to remain open for business.
“We saw what happened in China. We see the example of Italy. None of us want to be in that kind of situation. Now we see what is happening in Washington state, California, New York and the other states, we’re saying, ‘Hey, we want to make sure we do what we can to not be the next place like that.’ So we are taking steps,” Hogan said.
“We don’t want to do it. Obviously, it is disruptive to the economy and people’s lives,” he added, “but we also don’t want to have hundreds of thousands of people sick and thousands of people dying.”
Hogan said he is communicating with other governors as well as President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on a regular basis and praised the administration for “doing a good job of communicating to all the governors.”
A total of 288 have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday afternoon.