Downing Calls Out Baker’s Lack of Leadership on COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates

Urges consistency and clarity on matters of public health

For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2021


East Boston, MA — Following news that the Baker-Polito Administration has once again failed to offer a statewide policy on mask mandates, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing released the following statement:

“Since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baker Administration’s approach to offering state-level policy has both lacked clarity and left the most vulnerable communities across the state behind. 

“As the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread, the people of Massachusetts need clarity and consistency on how to best approach protocols for vaccination and mask mandates in schools, employment, and social environments throughout the Commonwealth. When Governor Baker fails to put forward and implement a coordinated response, we end up with patchwork that exacerbates inequity and allows the pandemic to persist.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration’s latest suggested guidance both leaves school district administrators on their own to decide best practice on mask mandates and ignores the CDC’s updated guidance that vaccinated people should return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the country that are experiencing substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.”

“I urge Governor Baker to implement a mask mandate that mirrors the CDC’s updated guidance on COVID-19 transmission rates, affirmatively work with school districts on guidelines for mask mandates across the Commonwealth, and require vaccination of all state employees. Parents, workers, and families deserve much better than haphazard public health guidance from state leadership on Beacon Hill.”