Charlie Baker’s Vaccine Rollout Could Be His Downfall [OPINION]
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to disappoint, and it could cost him his job next year. Baker's response to the pandemic has been questionable, but his plan for distributing the vaccine is just plain miserable.
To think, Baker and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo were awarded the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership for their handling of the pandemic. Seriously. That is no joke, although it is quite laughable.
Baker's plan for distributing the vaccine was to set up mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park. That meant senior citizens from communities such as Fall River, New Bedford, and all of the Cape would have to book an appointment online and then hitch a ride to Foxboro. Gee, what could go wrong there?
It took a little arm twisting, but Baker this week agreed to locate a mass vaccination site at the former Circuit City property just west of the Dartmouth Mall. At least the frightened old folks who have been hiding indoors for a year can catch a bus there. The site will service the New Bedford and Fall River areas. But what about the Cape?
Even though Barnstable County has more residents over the age of 75 than any other county in Massachusetts, there are still no plans for a mass vaccination site on the Cape. Are those folks expected to drive to New Bedford for the vaccine?
Appointments for a COVID vaccine on the Cape and anywhere else in Massachusetts are as hard to get as a pair of Jimmy Buffett tickets at the Xfinity Center. People are anxious and Baker could pay a high price.
Baker has applied his big-government philosophy to dealing with the pandemic and the distribution of the potentially life-saving vaccine. These missteps could cost him dearly next year should Baker decide to seek re-election. Just ask Donald Trump.
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.