Governor Baker, state, and health officials testify in hearing on COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management state grilled Governor Baker about issues with his vaccine rollout plan.

It only took about an hour for things to heat up during a legislative oversight hearing but lawmakers didn’t hold back when it came to criticizing the Governor’s rollout plan.

Baker was in the hot seat starting around 11:00 a.m. Lawmakers on the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Management Committee wanted to know why the rollout was so bumpy. Some even called the Governor’s plan a complete failure.

Now, Baker refuted those claims and he noted that we’ve made progress against the virus but said that more still needs to be done.

Senator Eric Lesser asked Baker, “You said the website was going to be prepared, not us, nobody else on this panel.”

Baker responded, saying, “Totally agree, that’s on us, I agree.”

Baker acknowledged that the website was a bad user experience for thousands of residents across the state. He said he’s open to ideas on how to fix it to prevent other issues moving forward.

Now the committee did invite the Governor back in two weeks to testify again and Baker said since he had so much fun this time around, he will be back for round two.

Thursday’s hearing was the first in a series of hearings. Legislative leaders held the hearing after weeks of criticism against the state’s vaccination plan which is still ongoing and changing regularly.

Other Western Massachusetts delegates at the hearing included Senator Eric Lesser, Representative Mindy Domb, and Representative Orlando Ramos. The following is a list of the members of the committee:

  • Senator Cindy Friedman (Vice-Chair)
  • Representative Jon Santiago (Vice-Chair)
  • Representative Rob Consalvo
  • Senator John Cronin
  • Senator Julian Cyr
  • Representative Mindy Domb
  • Representative Carolyn Dykema
  • Representative Paul Frost
  • Senator Eric Lesser
  • Representative Elizabeth Malia
  • Representative Christina Minicucci
  • Senator Patrick O’Connor
  • Representative Orlando Ramos
  • Representative Chynah Tyler
  • Representative David Vieira

State and municipal health officials, as well as healthcare executives, also testified.

The Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management is chaired by Representative Bill Driscoll, Jr. and Senator Jo Comerford.

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