From Allison Mitchell <[email protected]>
Subject MDP WIRE: Baker’s vax rollout is (still) a management failure.
Date February 24, 2021 9:59 PM
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Tools to boost Democrats and take on Governor Baker and his Republican allies.

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Our goal with the MassDems Wire is to give you the tools to boost Democrats and take on Baker and his Republican allies. Use these talking points on social media, as the basis for a letter to the editor of your local paper, in emails to your personal network, or in conversations with your friends and neighbors.
February 24, 2020

Baker’s Failed COVID Vaccine Rollout
President Biden Gets to Work for the American People

Baker’s Failed COVID Vaccine Rollout
The Baker-Polito vaccine rollout has been sluggish and inconsistent, with local officials begging for more urgency, guidance, and support as Massachusetts falls further behind.
* Governor Charlie Baker has had nearly a year to plan this vaccine rollout, but it’s been slow, disjointed, and ineffective.
+ Baker’s rollout received an ‘F’ ([link removed]) in a report from Harvard.
+ Earlier this month, over 7,500 appointments ([link removed]) at the state’s largest vaccination sites went unfilled.
+ Over 1,200 doses of the vaccine--that we know of--have gone to waste ([link removed]) in Massachusetts.
+ On Thursday, Democratic leaders in the legislature will be conducting oversight hearings ([link removed]) into Baker’s botched roll-out.
* Constant website crashes have been massive roadblocks for folks trying to secure vaccination appointments.
+ At the beginning of Phase 2, people struggled to navigate ([link removed]) the disjointed and needlessly confusing website. Attorney General Maura Healey blasted the website ([link removed]) as “way more complicated than it needs to be.”
+ In response, state legislators demanded that the Baker administration set up a hotline ([link removed]) for folks unable to use the website.
+ Massachusetts Democrats in Congress are calling on Baker to fix the “disjointed and cumbersome” ([link removed]) sign-up process that’s led to unfilled appointments and wasted vaccines.
+ Residents described the catastrophic crash last week as “The Hunger Games,” ([link removed]) and it was revealed that the Baker administration failed to warn ([link removed]) the company behind the website eligibility was opening to another 1 million people.
* Local leaders have had to accommodate Baker’s hasty changes to the vaccination plan, and now Baker’s shutting them out ([link removed]) of the rollout.
+ From the beginning, the Baker administration has left local leaders in the dark ([link removed]) about the vaccination plan, with health officials flagging a lack of communication. ([link removed])
+ Baker is halting shipments ([link removed]) to trusted local hospitals, and instead diverting their supplies to mass vaccination sites.
+ At Baker’s mass vaccination sites, which are inaccessible and few and far between ([link removed]) , thousands of appointments can go unfilled ([link removed]) .
+ Local health officials in places like Longmeadow ([link removed]) and Peabody ([link removed]) are the latest to lose their allotments of the vaccine, despite vaccinating hundreds of people with minimal doses wasted.
* Baker has failed to prioritize communities hardest hit by the virus, creating concerning inequities in vaccine administration.
+ Even though Black and brown communities report higher rates of asthma, Baker left the respiratory condition off the eligibility list ([link removed]) for Phase 2. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Attorney General Maura Healey ([link removed]) called it an issue of justice.
+ Bakerfailed to establish vaccination sites ([link removed]) in communities of color, leading to inequities ([link removed]) in vaccinations for Black and brown folks and leaving neighborhood leaders to pick up the pieces. ([link removed])
+ Congresswoman Ayanna Pressely sent a letter ([link removed]) to Baker imploring him to address the stark inequities in his vaccine distribution plan.
+ Mass vaccination sites are often located outside of high-risk communities ([link removed]) , forcing residents to drive hours just to get vaccinated.
+ Baker’s focus on mass vaccination sites fails folks who can’t travel hours ([link removed]) to places like Gillette or Fenway, especially seniors and folks with disabilities.
+ Baker thought his botched “companion program” would fix the issue, but instead, people online took advantage ([link removed]) of his oversight, creating a black market of folks willing to pay to transport seniors to vaccination appointments.
* Throughout the pandemic, Democrats have pressured Baker to act with more urgency, but he drags his feet every step of the way.
+ As early in the pandemic as March, Baker’s disastrous testing plan prompted Attorney General Maura Healey ([link removed]) to pressure him to increase testing and provide greater transparency.
+ Democrats like State Senator Julian Cyr and State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa ([link removed]) called on Baker to provide more resources in ‘testing deserts’ on Cape Cod and in Western Massachusetts.
+ Democratic elected officials in south eastern Massachusetts are taking things into their own hands ([link removed]) to provide tests for their constituents.
+ Local officials begged Baker to take statewide action to stop the spread of COVID, but he ignored those calls ([link removed]) and municipal leaders were left to hold the line against the virus.
+ As it became clear Baker had no plan for an effective and equitable vaccine rollout, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark ([link removed]) , Congressman Seth Moulton ([link removed]) , House Speaker Ron Mariano ([link removed]) and Senate President Karen Spilka ([link removed]) called for an overhaul of the process.
* Baker’s disastrous vaccine rollout isn’t Baker’s first management failure. ([link removed]) From the RMV, to the State Police, to the MBTA, Baker has mismanaged Massachusetts again and again.

President Biden Gets to Work for the American People

Following his inauguration, President Biden wasted no time getting to work for the American people. President Biden has signed dozens of executive actions and unveiled the American Rescue plan to get real relief to working folks.
* This week, the Biden-Harris administration announced new ways to ensure the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) support goes to the smallest businesses and those who have been left behind in previous relief efforts.
+ The Biden-Harris administration has made delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses a top priority.
+ The share of funding going to small businesses with fewer than ten employees is up nearly 60%. The share of funding going to small businesses in rural areas is up nearly 30%.
* President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is an ambitious plan that will deliver direct relief to working families, support small businesses, and provide funding for vaccines, testing, and schools.
+ The American Rescue Plan will also deliver desperately needed help to communities across every state — communities that are hurting because of budget shortfalls created by the pandemic.
+ This is not a red state or blue state issue. Support for families, businesses, states, cities, and towns is essential to help Americans still in crisis.
+ As the country passes the grim milestone of 500,000 deaths, it is clear Americans need support to weather this crisis and an overwhelming majority supports President Biden’s coronavirus relief plan.
* Despite Trump’s failures, President Biden is delivering for the American people and continues to ramp up vaccine production and distribution.
+ The U.S. is now administering an average of about 1.5 million doses per day.
+ The administration is on track to exceed its ambitious goal of 100 million vaccine doses in Biden’s first 100 days.
+ Last week, the White House announced states will collectively begin receiving 13.5 million vaccine doses per week, a weekly increase of 1.5 million doses
+ In the fifth consecutive week of supply increases, states will receive 14.5 million doses this week, a nearly 70 percent increase from 8.6 million doses per week when Biden took office.

We encourage you to share these talking points with your networks online and offline. Questions about the information outlined above and about the MassDems Wire program may be directed at our Communications Director, Allison Mitchell. (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Wednesday%20Wire)

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