Virus notes: Baker hits Trump immigration stance
No more hugs or shaking hands in politics
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Tuesday that he disagrees with President Trump’s plan to issue an executive order temporarily suspending all immigration into the United States.
Baker, a moderate Republican who has generally steered clear of the Republican president during the COVID-19 pandemic, said he was opposed to the president’s decision to seek the executive order. “It doesn’t make any sense and I don’t think it makes us any safer,” he said.
Baker noted that the two people who initially brought COVID-19 to Massachusetts were not immigrants but business officials from Europe attending a conference at Biogen in Boston.
Trump announced his plans to sign the executive order just after 10 p.m. Monday night on Twitter. “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!,” the president wrote.
No more hugging or shaking hands
Gov. Charlie Baker suggested COVID-19 may have permanently changed the hands-on nature of politics.
“We got into public life because we like the public part of public life,” Baker said, referring to himself and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. He said they used to attend 15 to 20 events a day, most of which involved personal interactions.
“We hugged, shook hands with, took pictures with, talked to, met with, engaged with hundreds and most of the time thousands of people. And it’s the best part of the job,” Baker said.
“We don’t do that anymore at all,” he said, noting that he works most days from home except when he attends his near-daily press conference. “We don’t have meetings. We talk on the phone, we Skype, we do Zoom or whatever.”
Baker said he and Polito like the opportunity to literally and figuratively embrace the people that they work with, but that doesn’t happen any more. “There’s none of that,” he said. “There’s going to be none of that going forward. We’re not going to shake hands anymore. We’re not going to hug. We’re not going to do any of those things.”Just like everyone else, Baker said he can’t wait for the “new normal” to arrive. “But I’m also the person looking at all the data every day,” he said. “I’ll be damned if the way this works is we go through this thing, we flatten the curve, we do all the stuff we were supposed to do, and then we create some run-up again in the fall because we don’t handle the re-entry, the reopening, in a way that actually works and makes sense and keeps people safe.”
Gov. Charlie Baker said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent 400 ventilators to Massachusetts to help out as the state continues to struggle with a surge in COVID-19 cases.