CommunityCoronavirusCovid-19William J. Ford

Hogan Treks Through Prince George’s to Sell Residents on Getting COVID Vaccine

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan spent part of his Thursday in Prince George’s County with a focus on reaching those who still haven’t received the coronavirus vaccine.

As of Thursday, about 2.5 million Marylanders are fully vaccinated and 65.4% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Hogan’s first stop was FedEx Field in Landover, home of the Washington Football Team, to thank faith and community leaders for distributing and administering vaccines to thousands of Marylanders.

“I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you … for joining us and leading by example and helping to accomplish this important mission,” he said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (right) chats May 13 with the Rev. Cary James Jr. at FedEx Field in Landover. The governor praised faith and community leaders for their efforts in helping to combat the coronavirus. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (right) chats May 13 with the Rev. Cary James Jr. at FedEx Field in Landover. The governor praised faith and community leaders for their efforts in helping to combat the coronavirus. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford joined Hogan to praise community leaders who hosted clinics, distributed flyers and talked with residents on the importance of getting vaccinated.

Rutherford traveled with a state Equity Task Force to work with local health and elected officials to set up clinics throughout the state, especially in Prince George’s, which has been “among the hardest-hit when it came to hospitalizations and deaths.”

Community leaders such as Farhana Shah, representing the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, said it takes one-on-one or small group conversations to encourage people who still aren’t vaccinated.

“Data is what’s powerful to convince people the vaccine works,” said Shah, a department chair in Montgomery County public schools. “I believe it is just meeting with those people and sharing the results of the vaccine. I wouldn’t be out here if I wasn’t 100% vaccinated.”

Some businesses are offering incentives to convince those who remain unvaccinated.

After leaving FedEx Field, Hogan traveled about 18 miles south for lunch at Ledo Pizza in Oxon Hill to promote the restaurant’s vaccine initiative. Those who register for vaccination at www.ledo4vaccines.com will receive a free eight-inch cheese pizza at Ledo restaurants in Maryland through June 30.

The restaurant aims to give away up to 10,000 pizzas.

“I love Ledo Pizza. This is, like, the greatest day of my life,” Hogan said outside the restaurant. “Our efforts right now [are] to get those last group of folks vaccinated. Any kind of incentive we can do to get people to get out and get their shots is going to help reach that goal to get rid of the masks and help things get back to normal.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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