Baker Needs to Appear Before COVID Committee [OPINION]
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker needs to appear before the newly-created special legislative Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness when it convenes this week on Beacon Hill.
The committee, established by House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka, is chaired by Rep. William Driscoll of Milton and Sen. Jo Comerford of Northampton. The panel invited Baker to appear for a hearing on Thursday, but it's not clear if the governor will accept. The hearing will explore what's gone right and wrong with the state's vaccination program. To date, there has been little to celebrate.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and others involved in the vaccine rollout have said they would appear before the panel to answer questions about what has been a confusing mess from day one.
Baker's vaccination plan has frustrated local officials and confounded seniors, many of whom have been unable to book appointments to be vaccinated. Several communities established vaccination sites at the governor's urging, only to hear Baker say he'd prefer to ship available doses to larger, regional mass vaccination sites. One such site is scheduled to open at the former Circuit City location in Dartmouth on Wednesday.
Baker needs to refine his vaccination plan in a hurry if he is to re-establish the public's confidence in his ability to lead during this crisis. The governor has fumbled and bumbled the rollout out so far and last week promised to do better in the coming weeks. He needs to appear before Driscoll and Comerford's committee on Thursday.
Here is hoping Baker spent the weekend thinking of a new strategy, because the one he's put forth is a real dog, and it could cost him his job next year.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.