Key COVID decisions “don’t feel that easy,” Baker says

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Gov. Charlie Baker knows that his response to the COVID-19 pandemic will never please everyone, but that does not mean the decisions come easily.

Asked at a Tuesday press conference about the criticism he has faced for his handling of the public health crisis, Baker grew animated recounting the damage that the economic shutdown wrought on workers who could not afford to shift to telecommuting.

“We need to remember that in the spring, part of the reason we shut everything down was because we had no rules and no guidance and no advisory about work at all,” Baker said. “We felt it was incumbent on us to just stop. Now, that had a calamitous impact on people who didn’t have MBAs or MPHs or the ability to do their job from home, or white-collar workers who worked in finance or accounting or law. The people that really got creamed by that were the people that actually have to get up and go to work somewhere.”

Baker announced Tuesday that the state must roll back to Phase 3, Step 1 of his administration’s economic reopening plan, which decreases the allowable capacity limits at virtually all businesses and requires some sectors such as indoor performance venues to close entirely.

His voice rose as he continued on the topic of the spring shutdown’s damages.

“I think a lot about that when I think about these decisions, and I also think about it a lot when I think about personal behavior. I think about all those social workers who continued to go knock on doors in the middle of the pandemic,” he said. “These decisions might seem easy to some people who don’t have to live with them. They don’t feel that easy to the people that do, and we should never forget that.” 

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