Baker called Holyoke Soldiers’ Home families

Says relatives felt Pearlstein report was accurate

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Friday that he has called every family who lost a loved one to COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, and reached about 80 percent of them.

The governor said many of the family members told him the report by Mark Pearlstein on what went wrong at the facility was very painful to read. “Many of them read the report and expressed to me how incredibly hard it was,” he said at a State House press conference. “It was hard for me to read the report.”

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The attorney for former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home superintendent Bennett Walsh on Thursday disputed a key contention in the Pearlstein report – that merging two dementia units was a key mistake in allowing the disease to spread.

Asked about the comment, Baker said he would let the report speak for itself. But he said he had discussed the report with many of the family members he had contacted. “Many believe that report to be accurate and I’m with them,” Baker said.