BOSTON (AP) – Early last March, at a time when the COVID-19 crisis still seemed a distant threat, Charlie Baker and his family flew to Utah for a skiing holiday.
It will be the last taste of normalcy that the Republican governor would enjoy for next year.
Three days later, in 2020. On March 9, Baker ended his vacation and returned as the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Massachusetts reached a staggering 41. The Baker and the state, which twice elected him governor, came close to experimenting with incredible horses weeks ago.
For Baker, the epidemic had a kind of backlash in Massachusetts, one of the worst-hit states, with an estimated 17,000 deaths.
When fears grew in the first months of the crisis, Baker took drastic steps to shut down the state, public confidence in him remained high only when the vaccines arrived, Baker stumbled upon the spread of the vaccine bottle և to reopen businesses like this, even when New versions of the virus were hidden.
Other governors hailed at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, including California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats, have also seen their stars darken as critics question their epidemic decisions.
As soon as the cases were opened, Baker began holding daily press conferences to identify a series of dizzying orders aimed at limiting the spread of the virus. He closed schools, closed down businesses, imposed curfews, mandated masks, delayed elective surgery, and ordered field hospitals to be built.
Initially, Baker’s honest approach to reporting the most disturbing news won the honor.
Baker later said that as governor, he expected collisions with snowstorms, hurricanes, floods, and sometimes even tornadoes, but not an epidemic that could take thousands of lives and wipe out everyday life.
“I do not know about you, but to me every day seems like a month,” Baker joked at a recent news conference. “I was 27 years old when it all started, now I’m 64, it just happened.”
Part of Baker’s call was for his opposition to then-President Donald Trump.
“He was a Republican who could be liked by Democrats,” said Erin O’Brien, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. “He made decisions that many Republicans were not ready for.”
A technocrat who was the executive director of health care, Baker would ironically see his political power begin to wane with the release of vaccines in hopes of ending the epidemic.
Critics say Baker’s plan for phased vaccinations is too much for the general public, from medical workers to individuals in long-term care. Many other New England states have access to vaccines first for the at-risk population և for frontline workers before moving to the wider, older sections of the population և and finally for the general public.
They were also to blame for the initial absence of one site to fix vaccine appointments.
When the administration set up a vaccine-finding site, Baker faced new setbacks when he crashed the day the vaccine became available to people over the age of 65.
Most recently, Baker came under pressure from teachers’ unions, who pressured him to gather teachers on the waiting list for vaccines if he wanted to return to classroom teaching. Baker basically gave up.
“This epidemic has shown that the governor should not be the big governor who convinced him to be Massachusetts,” said Democratic Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.
He said that there are many strategies that Baker did not try to reach the minority communities. For example, to create mobile vaccine programs to reach out to the minority in Spain, other minorities in Spain, and perpetuate racial discrepancies highlighted by the epidemic.
Louis Elisa, one of the founding members of the Boston COVID-19 Coalition, said the epidemic had become “an absolute hell” for the BS community, many of whom were frontline workers.
“It was just a complete failure of the connection, a complete disruption,” said Elisa. “Almost every day we were endangered, almost without support.”
Elisa said it took months before a large test center was set up in Boston’s Roxbury district, which is the center of the city’s traditional SS life. The situation has started to improve. The state began using the Roxbury Sports Complex as a mass vaccination center, but the administration should have hit the ground sooner, he said.
Baker has also lost focus on working-class areas such as New Bedford and its immigrant community, including many in Central America who work in fish processing, said Helena Dasilva-Hughes, executive director of the Immigrant Assistance Center. Back in early March, New Bedford was among several Massachusetts communities that were still considered the most dangerous risk of coronavirus transmission, although it was dropped from the list.
“They were hit hard. “They have five or six people living in their houses, so there is no social distance,” he said. “They get COVID, it’s like no one is listening.”
Baker has defended his efforts to increase vaccinations in minority communities. He recently said that Massachusetts ranks second in the country in providing first doses to blacks in the country, and about 16% of blacks get their first blows.
Others praised Baker, including Su Jos, executive director of the Brokton Neighborhood Health Center, in Boston, 20 miles south of Boston, which was badly damaged by COVID-19. Oss said his city had reduced the number of people infected with the state’s COVID-19 command center, which helps control the state’s response to the epidemic.
“The governor and his team were amazing through all this. They were resourceful. They tried things. “Some things did not work, so they have changed,” he told a recent news conference.
Baker recently announced a $ 27.4 million federal release that he said would boost vaccinations for the general population, including $ 10.6 million in vaccine access assistance, such as relocating to vaccine clinics.
Disappointment with the vaccine caused political damage to Baker.
A March 15 poll by WCVB-TV համալս University of Massachusetts-Amherst found that Baker’s approval rating rose by about 78% in August, but has fallen by about 52% since then. Baker’s predecessor, Democrat Deval Patrick, had, in fact, the same favorable opinion among voters – 52% – as he began his last year in office in 2014.
Mickey Edwards, a former Republican in Oklahoma, says that while Baker’s actions compared favorably with many other GOP governors, he failed the leadership test.
“We sat and laughed at his early press conferences, which meant, ‘It would be great if you wore masks,'” said the Massachusetts resident, a visiting professor at Princeton University. “It simply came to our notice then. “There should have been approval of sanctions and enforcement mechanisms.”
Baker said at the time that most of the work would be left to local cities.
Baker has yet to say whether he will run for a third four-year term next year after the biggest test of his political career.
“It must be consumed at the human level,” said O’Brien, a professor of political science. “If you are the governor, you really have to do things and make tough decisions. You can’t please everyone, պայմաններում in an epidemic, those decisions are literally life and death. ”