Massachusetts Dems recruiting off vaccine rollout

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The Democratic Party is hoping to make hay from Massachusetts’ glitchy and frustrating COVID-19 vaccine rollout led by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

In an email Thursday morning, party chair Gus Bickford took aim at Baker for the “chaotic” and “embarrassing” vaccine distribution and asked that people “join our activist team that will take on Baker and put a Democrat in the corner office” in 2022.

“The Baker-Polito vaccine rollout has been botched since the beginning,” Bickford wrote. He added, “Baker’s had almost a year to plan a smooth and equitable vaccination plan. Instead, he didn’t even think to implement something as basic as a vaccine information hotline until Democrats pressured him into it.”

Baker has defended his administration’s approach to getting shots into people’s arms, saying Massachusetts is one of the few states that prioritized its frontline health care workers and people living or working in congregate settings, like group homes, shelters, and prisons.

On Wednesday, the governor said his administration is “open to criticism and to take criticism and to make adjustments and to get better,” but he said he does “not apologize” for choosing to prioritize certain groups for vaccines early on.

“I’m not happy with where we are. I know a lot of other people aren’t either. We have work to do and we know that,” Baker said. Though the Democrats appear focused squarely on him, Baker has not yet said whether he plans to run for a third term as governor in 2022.

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