During the afternoon news conference on Monday, April 20, Maryland Governor said that it was not the federal government but his wife who was able to procure the half a million testing kits from South Korea. Maryland Governor and wife welcomed testing kits in a passenger plane from South Korea on Saturday, April 17.
Yumi Hogan, Maryland's first lady was born in South Korea and came to the US in 1994. Governor Larry Hogan said that not only did the lady secure the deal but used her native language to negotiate the deal. The Hogans were seen to be receiving the kits in the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, greeting a chartered 777 Korean Aeroplane.
The Governor said that the two of them "convened" several calls before the deal was negotiated. Maryland was able to get Korea's LabGenomics coronavirus testing kits during the negotiation which lasted for around 22 days.
'Operation Enduring Friendship'
The Hogans dubbed the test kit mission "Operation Enduring Friendship." Governor Hogan said that the kit mission wouldn't have been possible because of his wife by showering praises on her efforts. Operation Enduring friendship culminated on March 28 and since been the headway to the procurement of the testing kits.
The Hogans' friendship with the South Korean Ambassador to the US Lee Soo Hyuk was also a very important part of bringing the testing kits to Maryland. Yumi Hogan is an artist and has works that centre around nature. Her abstract art uses hanji, which is a paper made from native Korean trees. Her art is how the couple met. Yumi and Larry Hogan married in 2004.
Maryland's first lady was raised in a rural village of Jeonnam, Korea. Moving to Maryland after her divorce Yumi met Larry and was one of his campaigners during his elections. She is the first Asian American first lady in Maryland. The Maryland Governor was seen talking about the friendship between Maryland and South Korea which was created because of Yumi Hogan during his Monday's press conference.
"Most importantly, I want to thank Maryland's first lady, my wife, Yumi," Hogan said. "She truly is a champion of this Operation Enduring Friendship."