|Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in the White House|
Situation Room with Vice-President Mike Pence
MCPS knocks down rumor of
Richard Montgomery HS student
testing positive for covid-19 as
Hogan warns seniors: "stay home"
The number of Montgomery County residents exposed to the coronavirus is steadily growing, but the actual number of confirmed cases has so far remained small. Four MoCo residents have tested positive for covid-19 so far. While that leads the state by far, there are now single cases in Harford and Prince George's counties as well.
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Rumors continue to plague Montgomery County Public Schools on social media during the outbreak. Ongoing speculation over potential school closures has even included specific dates, all of which have been smacked down by MCPS, which has stated schools will remain open at this time. One new online rumor about a Richard Montgomery High School student testing positive for covid-19 is also fake news. "We are deeply disappointed that someone would create and distribute misinformation about such an important issue.," RMHS Principal Damon Monteleone said Monday.
While Rockville is the only county "hot spot" for the virus identified by elected officials, only by virtue of an early coronavirus patient who visited and exposed many at the Villages at Rockville retirement community, the city's large Asian community has made those who were pointing discriminatory fingers early on look rather foolish. Not only have none of the county's cases so far been related to China, but there have been no outbreaks at all in our Asian community. As for people claiming coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon: while the virus could well be man-made, it almost certainly was not engineered by China. It has caused massive damage to the Chinese economy, which was already reeling from its first downturn and contraction in decades under President Trump's trade and tariff policies. Such an outcome is the last thing Chinese leaders would have sought at this time.
Republican Hogan gave Maryland a seat at the table in the GOP White House - literally. The governor was seated at Vice-President Mike Pence's left hand in the Situation Room, as Pence briefed the nation's state leaders on the coronavirus response. While Hogan has feuded with Trump, he and former Indiana governor and GOP peer Pence have a better working relationship, which bodes well for Maryland getting federal coronavirus aid priority. But given the bleak pandemic picture being painted by some, Pence might want to have coffee with former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who could tell him of the political pitfalls of being made the public face of a challenge like this.
Top photo: Andrea Hanks/The White House