Beacon Hill’s public health priorities
The cochairs of the Legislature’s Public Health Committee say inequity is their top concern in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The COVID epidemic ripped through the Commonwealth and exposed inequities that we’ve all known have been long present in our midst,” said Sen. Jo Comerford of Northampton, the Senate chair of the committee. “These inequities drove a greater percentage of people of color to get the virus, a greater percentage of people of color to become more ill with the virus, and a greater percentage of people of color to die from COVID.”Comerford said her goal during the coming legislative session is to craft budget and policy measures to address the inequities. “What do we do now as we come out of this one-year arc to address these inequities and write a new chapter for the Commonwealth?” she asked.
Rep. Marjorie Decker of Cambridge, the House chair of the committee, said she felt similarly, and had concerns about Gov. Charlie Baker’s handling of the crisis, specifically his decision to leave many key decisions to local communities and the whiplash-inducing changes in state policies.