January 26, 2021/Media, Press Releases

MEMO: Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth as COVID Response Fails Massachusetts

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Allison Mitchell
(617) 939-0800

The Massachusetts Democratic Party has released the memo below outlining a sampling of the ways the Baker-Polito COVID response has failed the people of Massachusetts, especially the communities hit hardest by this virus. Here’s what Chair Gus Bickford had to say ahead of Baker’s speech:

“The state of our Commonwealth thanks to Charlie Baker’s failed management and absent leadership during this critical time embarrassingly lags behind the majority of states. But, you won’t hear that from the Governor, who has a knack for cherry-picking data favorable to him.  Tonight, nearly a year into the pandemic, Governor Baker will offer us the same, empty platitudes as Massachusetts falls further behind, as frontline workers will go unvaccinated for yet another day while doses sit in freezers, as COVID will continue to inflict greater pain in communities of color invisible to Charlie Baker, and as many schools remain closed. We won’t hear Baker take the blame for the state’s disjointed response to COVID, which forced cities and towns to step in where the state fell short, leading neighboring communities to implement different rules. 

For nearly a year, the Baker-Polito administration has added to the body of evidence that they need to be pressured to take even the slightest action, and they’ll drag their feet the entire way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that’s not leadership, it’s negligence.”

Keep scrolling or CLICK HERE to view the memo from the Massachusetts Democratic Party.



TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Massachusetts Democratic Party
DATE: Tuesday, January 26, 2021
RE: Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth as COVID Response Fails MA

This evening, Governor Charlie Baker will deliver his annual State of the Commonwealth Address against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic he has mismanaged from the beginning. From the earliest days of the outbreak, Baker’s failures led to Democratic leaders demanding better from the Governor. Without Democratic officials holding Governor Baker accountable, and stepping in where he refuses to act, the Commonwealth would be worse off in this pandemic.

In less than 12 months, 500K Bay Staters have tested positive for the virus and over 14K have lost their lives. Some people have had to drive an hour or more to their nearest testing site, others are stranded in vaccination deserts. The Baker-Polito COVID response has been disjointed and inconsistent, with local officials begging for more tests, more vaccines, and more guidance and accountability from our Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

Tonight, Governor Baker is sure to offer the same, tired platitudes we’ve been hearing for years, but here’s what Governor Baker won’t tell us about the state of our Commonwealth:

  • The Baker-Polito COVID vaccination rollout was botched from the beginning and has Massachusetts embarrassingly lagging behind most other states.

    • Despite its reputation for its best-in-the-nation medical care, Massachusetts now ranks 31st in the number of people vaccinated per capita.

    • Massachusetts is falling behind every other New England state, with only 5.5% of residents having received the first dose.

  • Baker’s COVID response has failed communities hit hardest by this virus.

    • The Baker-Polito administration held back COVID data by municipality to delay the revelation that communities of color were being disproportionately affected by the virus.

    • Baker and his administration are failing to collect required data on race, ethnicity, language, occupation, and disability status of people who test positive for coronavirus.

    • Even after nearly 80 veterans lost their lives to COVID in the tragedy at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, the Baker-Polito administration continued to cover up data from nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

    • Baker hasn’t prioritized high risk communities in his vaccine distribution. Vaccination sites in Black, brown, and immigrant communities are few and far between.