In State of the State Address, Hogan Reflects, Looks Ahead on Pandemic and Urges ‘Maryland Strong’

Gov. Larry Hogan, taken 1/11/2021. Via Office of the Governor’s Flickr.

Gov. Larry Hogan delivered his seventh State of the State address Wednesday evening.

In his virtual speech, Hogan warned Marylanders of the long COVID-19 vaccination process ahead.

“…I have always been a straight shooter, so here’s the truth. Getting a vaccine to everyone who wants one will be a much longer and much more difficult process than any one of us would like it to be,” Hogan said. “It is going to require a great deal of patience for many months while states continue to push the federal government and the manufacturers to increase the production and to drastically increase the allocations they provide to the states.”

Hogan commended teachers, administrators, parents and students for adapting to new learning models and showing. He reiterated his call for schools to reopen for in-person learning.

“It is time to get our students back into the classrooms where they belong,” he said. The governor encouraged that a better future is on the horizon.

“We will get there, but we must continue looking out for one another and continue working together to build that better future,” he said. “Let’s continue to set a shining example for the rest of America, by showing that we are Maryland Strong, that we refuse to succumb to the divisiveness and dysfunction that is infecting our national politics.”

“Because the bonds that bind us together as Marylanders are greater than all that divides us. We will get through this together, and Maryland will emerge stronger, better and more resilient than ever before.”

Hogan reflected on the COVID-19 pandemic, which began about one year ago. He asked for a moment of silent prayer for the 7,043 Marylanders, nearly 450,000 Americans and more than 2.2 million people worldwide who have died from the coronavirus.

In March 2020, Maryland lost its first resident to COVID-19. Hogan said he will never forget reporting it.

“Now, nearly a year later, it seems as if people have simply become numb to the daily reports on the number of deaths. But my heart breaks for every single one of them. Each and every one of those victims leaves behind countless loved ones and countless unfinished dreams,” he said.

Hogan discussed the state’s emergency economic relief efforts in response to the virus. He urged the Maryland legislature to pass the RELIEF Act of 2021, which would give struggling residents and businesses more than $1 billion in immediate tax relief and economic stimulus.

“Tonight, I am once again calling on the legislature to pass this bill and get it to my desk as soon as possible, so that I can sign it into law, so that it can take effect immediately. There is absolutely nothing more important for the legislature to do, and Marylanders simply cannot afford to wait,” Hogan said.

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