MA lawmakers discuss how to invest in public health after COVID pandemic

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – As the pandemic in many ways is nearing its end, lawmakers on Beacon Hill are trying to figure out how to better invest in public health. 

COVID-19 hit Massachusetts very hard, forcing hospital workers and local health professionals to work overtime. 

But many of those employees say a major investment right now, could prevent the mass chaos that we saw when the virus first hit. 

During a listening session with lawmakers Friday, members of the public health workforce expressed their frustration with how the state handled COVID-19. Local dentists, dietitians, and school nurses argued that they lacked leadership when the viral outbreak was at its worst.  

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They blame Gov. Charlie Baker for forcing city and town officials to make the calls around school closings, restaurant guidance and so much more, and that’s an issue that they are hoping to see the legislature address this session. 

“And we’re asking them, pretty difficult questions about how they fared during COVID, what the state could have done to support them better, what they would recommend,” said Sen. Jo Comerford. 

Once public health professionals finish outlining their recommendations, state lawmakers plan to file a bill that directs more money and more resources to disease prevention. 

The goal of this entire exchange is to learn from the pandemic and change things that could potentially save more lives if another public health emergency comes our way. 

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