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Baker says teachers willing to let old people die; teachers wonder if Baker needs his hearing checked

WBUR reports a senior Baker aide accused teachers of trying to push old people and people with serious underlying conditions out of the way in their mad dash to get vaccinated now that the state is going to force all schools to return to in-class learning and the governor isn't having it.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, the Boston Teachers Union and Massachusetts AFL-CIO replied in so many words, that Baker might wish to get a hearing check.

The unions say they never suggested grabbing precious vaccine vials away from grannie and grampie, just that the doses that had been allocated - however reluctantly and only after the president himself declared teachers should get some level of priority - for teachers be administered to them at local schools by firefighters, rather than at the state's regional mass-vaccination sites.

Several union leaders had a cordial meeting with Secretary Marylou Sudders this morning concerning the Last Mile Vaccine Delivery Plan, which has been endorsed by health experts across the state. Secretary Sudders asked if we thought she should divert vaccines from other high-need groups to give to educators, and we emphatically declined.

We suggested, instead, that some of the doses designated for educators via the mass vaccination sites be sent to local communities so they could be administered to school employees efficiently and effectively at the local level, with facilitation by firefighters and nurses.

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Comments

Keep digging, Charlie.

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for him.

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Baker should be embarrassed that he mishandled things so badly, and by all appearance is resistant to vaccinating teachers
The teachers union head should be embarrassed no matter what happens, all she does is say "gimme more!!!"

I'm a teacher, and she doesn't speak for a lot of us.

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you and other people like you the right to push older people, and/or people with severe medical and/or development problems out of the way. Kids should go on virtual at-home education until needier, more vulnerable people get their vaccines first.

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You sound like you think it is the teachers making the decision to return to in-person education. It isn’t. They are draftees, not volunteers. In my opinion, when you send soldiers into danger, you owe it to them, and to the public they serve, to provide them with adequate protection. Why are teachers owed any less?

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It wasn't teachers insisting that they return to the classroom on April 5 with or without vaccines. It was Baker.

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Mental health problems are multiplying. The amount of actual learning is way down. The disparities between those who are privileged and those who aren't are growing.

It's not just about risk of death from Covid. There's tons of other very real suffering going on right now, and ignoring it is incredibly selfish -- a not uncommon trait of the boomer crowd.

[the number of people with severe medical and/or development problems is tiny when compared to those aged 65-74. This isn't about them at all.]

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The problem has ALWAYS been available vaccines, and the MTA knows this a crap political move, which is why they're actually backtracking, Adam. If you mandate teachers get priority at their workplace, the opportunity that most of which the elderly do not have any easy access to unless they live in state housing (?) or a group home, you will, in effect, push those at the most risk out and let the 23 year old substitute art teacher get full immunity.

There aren't enough shots to go around YET, nor have there been, so as long as they're clamoring to delay in-school teaching, they can delay as well.

But ok yes, Chaz sucks. So do car drivers. And dog owners.

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If you mandate teachers get priority at their workplace, the opportunity that most of which the elderly do not have any easy access to unless they live in state housing (?) or a group home, you will, in effect, push those at the most risk out and let the 23 year old substitute art teacher get full immunity.

Where they get the shots isn't an issue, it's available doses - and if doses are available, why not deliver them somewhere that's possible for teachers to actually get them? I know a teacher who is forced to teach in-person and who is desperately trying to find a vaccination anywhere that he can get to, given that, gosh, he's required to teach in person and can't drive from Springfield to Danvers in the middle of the day.

You, like this Bakerbot, are playing "let's you and them fight", and it's disgraceful.

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You can't have it both ways. The elderly population are clearly more susceptible to catching Covid. However, teachers and students are being advised to start opening up full time in person learning, but at the end of the day, no one knows who's been exposed to whom, whether they, or whomever they've been around, were able to get a vaccine or not (either by priority or by personal preference).

If grandma has possibly been unknowingly exposed, then has a visit with son/daughter, grandkids, etc., and one happens to be a teacher who didn't get a vaccine for whatever reason and is in person teaching, exposing the children, their parents, co-workers, fellow transit travelers, you name it, this will never go away.

My kids' school sent a mass email asking parents if we'd like our specific students to return in person in April or prefer to continue remote learning.

A BPS school by my house has recently reopened for special needs students. The teachers nor children are wearing masks while out for recess & breaks.

I see them everyday. The teachers are normally on their phones or talking with each other (in close proximity) and just hurry and gather the children when recess or breaks are over.

I respectfully declined in person & opted to continue remote learning for my children.

I'm sorry, but not taking any chances. I feel safer with my kids at home.

Has it been stressful & difficult for all of us? Sure. I just don't intend to have my kids around potential exposure while being unsure.

Everytime I think Charlie's doing a little better....

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Schools have been open in Europe and much of the US, and have never been a spreader of COVID.

Teachers unions are just showing their colors like the police unions have been. Against the public interest.

And it’s going to hurt a general of poor kids hardest. Schools should be open.

Follow the goddamn science.

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Citations needed.

See also: VARIANTS that are far more of an infection threat to kids in schools. https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n383

Follow the science? Sure. LEARN SOME FIRST. Then we will talk.

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I don't know about Europe, but schools here in the United States have been spreaders of Covid-19, because so many teachers and parents alike have been so goddamned insistent on sending their kids to school, for fear they'll be damaged mentally and emotionally by virtual on-line learning at home.

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Basically all the private schools in the NE are open and I haven't heard any stories about them being super-spreaders. Open the schools at 50% capacity and let's go.

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What are you going to do with the other 50% of students?

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An online friend of mine is a teacher (in Ontario, but the situation is similar). The province insists that there have been no school-based outbreaks, which involves moving the goalposts. As far as she can tell, the province is defining an outbreak as "one more case than the maximum so far reported from any school."

Meaning, if there are four cases of school-based transmission in one school, an outbreak is "at least five." If two more teachers in that school get sick, oh that's not an outbreak, an outbreak is at least seven cases. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Charlie handed the teachers a hard right to their noggins. The teachers are swinging back with a hard left to his nose in a barroom brawl over who gets a shot first.

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Biden told him and others to cut the shit.

Now he's sulking.

On the other hand, if I hear one more teacher demand in-school clinics for their convenience I'm going to start swinging. IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. That is because there aren't enough people to do it, and it would waste a fuckton of vaccine due to distribution and handling limitations, not to mention a fuckton of resources to get 20 doses of this or that to every tiny fucking school in the commonwealth..

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That seems like a win for everyone, and I don't understand why the Governor rejected this proposal. The sooner teachers are vaccinated, the sooner schools can fully reopen at normal capacity, with no further need for social distancing.

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They did. And school districts employ licensed nurses, too.

However! this administration has lacked the transparency for me to know whether or not they fully considered such a proposal and decided against it because of good and justified reasoning.

If you want to run a large, powerful organization, and not be subject to public scrutiny and the expectation of transparency in decision making, you should not seek this position in a public office.

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I know 70 yr. olds STILL trying to get an appointment unsuccessfully and Baker wants to open it up to even more people who are younger? And I'm talking about people who are over 70 and still working because they can't afford to retire. Meanwhile there are pandemic-deniers in NH who are
younger than 65 who are able to get vaccinated without issue at their local Walgreens. Why is Mass. getting screwed over?

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... seem to have buried themselves in other issues. Hmmnn.... maybe they await back up from Buckingham Palace?

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Baker is showing leadership, trying to figure out how to allocate scarce supplies.

Meanwhile, down in Washington, Uncle Joe says the feds will magically conjure vaccines for hundreds of millions of Americans in 7 weeks.

I guess you pick your reality.

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Unless that "magic" is you making shit up.

The vaccine manufacture and supply chain has been entirely shaken down, shaken out, and supplies are drastically increasing.

I know this because I'm involved in distributing it. I am also getting updates (this administration is extremely transparent) on what is coming on line.

The reality you are picking is ... wrong.

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Heck, I believe it was a certain person who posts on this website with an expertise in infectious disease that has been noting that the federal government has not been keeping up with their promises of vaccines shipments for the Commonwealth. But heck, if I don't want to listen to her, I could just go with with the governor said a few days ago

“If you’re looking for someone to reach out to on this, start asking the folks in D.C. why Moderna and Pfizer have not delivered on the level of participation that they said, less than 10 days ago in front of Congress, that they were going to deliver on in the month of March and why J&J has missed all of their deadlines,”

I mean, as they've been, um, promising more than they can provide since Trump was in office, why should we believe that in 7 weeks they will have their stuff together?

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“ I am also getting updates (this administration is extremely transparent) “

Lo and behold! The demigod speaks.

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Transparency?

Swirly, you are in the know and are bringing us information, and I appreciate that. I believe what you tell us because I've been on this website long enough that I find you to be credible on these topics. But unless you are going on the record, as an identifiable official authorized to speak to us about the information, it is not coming transparently from the administration.

But yes, I do agree that there is no magic being promised here, and that the increase in supply that we will need at the national level over the next 2-3 months has been openly reported on elsewhere.

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Baker is showing leadership, trying to figure out how to allocate scarce supplies.

Seems like there was quite a long time, at least 9 months or so, where we knew at some point there would be a vaccine of some kind, and we would need a plan to distribute it. So how come it seems like the state is still scrambling to figure out how that's going to work and is struggling to get even basic things working, like how to set up a website where people can sign up for appointments we knew for months people were going to have to make?

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Baker has been changing his mind ever 45 minutes it seems.

This new "register here, don't call us, we'll call you" website? A good idea … if it were implemented in October. Get everyone signed up, and then dole out the vaccine as needed.

But we have 75 year olds. Then 75 year olds with Craigslist buddies. Then 65 year olds. Then teachers. Then not teachers. Then maybe teachers. Then not teachers, but they still have to go back to school.

Charlie once again looks okay because a) other governors are doing worse and b) Massachusetts has a lot of competent people who aren't all going to bars and coughing on each other.

But still, Charlie Baker is a man who treads water in a river current and thinks he's the reason he wound up downstream.

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There's a lot of underlying premises of COVID policy decisions being implied, and not a whole lot of arguments on the fundamentals being made here. This is an issue here, but also in lots of the other reopening discussions.

"X group/cause/etc. should be a priority" is easy to say, but everyone knows that the supply is extremely limited compared to all the groups that have valid claims to having "priority" status over stay-at-home-Joe-schmo. It's implied that you're arguing to be a priority over someone else - so say it!

Maybe there is an argument that vaccinating teachers is more important than sanitation workers, grocery store workers, food supply chain, public health workers, etc. and the rest in the "Phase 2 / Stage 3" group. Maybe there's an argument that the harm caused by keeping schools closed is far greater than the harm from the level of transmission that will happen with reopening in a few more weeks, and that balance of harms makes reopening the right decision (or maybe vice versa)! But the argument should be made in plain terms, not in these half-veiled statements.

A year ago we were told that it was essential to close so many things not so much because of the individual threat, but because allowing mass spread would lead to a catastrophic collapse of our health care system, causing the death rate to really skyrocket simply because we can't provide the basic care. We all bought in. I'm not sure that the arguments that are being made today on restrictions, openings, etc. are being made on that same criteria of avoiding overwhelming our health care system.

It's OK to say that the goal posts have moved, but say it! Dancing around the topic just make your argument sound like a coward.

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and scientists. Too many assholes are defying the mask mandate, and flouting the rules for social distancing, mask wearing in public, and also flouting the rules against having large gatherings of people, either indoors or outdoors. Those assholes out at UMass/Amherst deserved to get suspended.

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and scientists. Too many assholes are defying the mask mandate, and flouting the rules for social distancing, mask wearing in public, and also flouting the rules against having large gatherings of people, either indoors or outdoors. Those assholes out at UMass/Amherst deserved to get suspended.

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Funeral home workers / death care workers are in line after baristas. In all other New England states, they were early on. Covid can live up till 36 hours after death and with funeral homes opened up more now, they are at risk.

Google Mass funeral director vaccination

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Yes, the CDC says that schools can open, but with six feet of distance needed with proper ventilation. Baker said nope to that, and says three feet in poorly ventilated spaces, with 'six feet for food'... which most schools can't even do that without some form of hybrid learning, but we can't do that, either. We've already had teachers die, but no, apparently Baker is fine with listening to outdated Trump policies than the actual science.

Baker already planned make schools to come back in person by April, while adding more and more people ahead of teachers (You've be in Phase two! ...But the second half. After 75+. Actually, 65+, too. And co-morbidity, and...) so they'd be without the vaccine, because he's pissed the MTA didn't cave to him, and still bitter they didn't endorse him, and so he was determined to break them. He already made sure they couldn't strike over COVID. (See Andover last fall).

Michigan just admitted their number one source for new COVID cases is their public schools. I've lost more than one colleague to COVID, and we know districts have been downplaying violations to make them seem safe enough. None of us want to be out of the classroom, but we trust the administration as far as we can throw them.

Charlie's a snake, more interested in state testing than actual kids.

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Going back in April, when schools are over in June, seems like meat for the political machine screaming for BACK TO SCHOOL more than it is good teaching practice. It'll take two weeks to get kids settled back in, the last two weeks of school are a wash, you're getting like... two months of instruction.

Just finish the school year remote. Spend all summer vaccinating teachers. Be ready for full time in the fall.

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"Baker" said nothing in the story you cited.

"The Baker Administration" said something.

You lie.

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If you mean a bias towards holding top elected officials responsible for their responsibilities, then you are correct!

If Baker disagreed with the words put forward, on the record, by a senior administration official on his behalf, he could have certainly clarified that in a press event later in the day.

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The teachers jumped ahead of MBTA workers.

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I do not think Baker has generally been handling this vaccine rollout well, but I do think he's right to call out the teachers' unions, who apparently do not understand math. If there are still 65+ year old people who have not been vaccinated and are trying to, and there is only so much vaccine to go around, then giving some of it to teachers will mean that older folks have to wait longer. That's just reality.

In addition, why should teachers be any more special that all the other front line workers who have been working in person during this entire time, interacting with the public on a daily basis? The data does not show that schools are particularly risky compared to other occupations and settings as long as the safety guidelines are followed. I get that teachers are anxious to get the vaccine. We all are.

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I do think he's right to call out the teachers' unions, who apparently do not understand math.

It seems to me that the unions are disputing that they requested Baker do the mathematically impossible.

As for

why should teachers be any more special that all the other front line workers who have been working in person during this entire time

Well, that's a valid question to ask. But Baker HAS already deemed them a higher priority than others that you mentioned. Your question remains unanswered, but the administration has also plowed past your question and started moving into the implementation phase regardless of the answer being made known.

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What people are missing here is that schools have been okay because they've been at lower capacity and following CDC guidelines, but there have been multiple school and districts have still had to go remote because of lack of staff due to outbreaks.

This is asking teachers work in conditions that are against the CDC recommendations inclusive of social distancing, etc. Most of us wouldn't walk into packed bar right now, ever been to a school cafeteria?

I don't think teachers need a special spot to get their shots but I also think it's just a bad idea to just try to wing this for the next 10 weeks of school and hope for the best. We've lived with this school situation for 7 months already, we can handle a few more weeks to give us some runway to get everyone vaccinated.

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Baker and Biden and everyone seems to want the public schools reopened full-time. Great, I understand all the educational/emotional/economic reasons as well as the need for free childcare for workers.

Kids are petri dishes for all kinds of germs. Parents routinely send their sick kids to school after dosing them with Tylenol.

Teachers are stressed to the max. Give them the protection and respect to do their jobs with confidence. A lot depends on them being able to do so.

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Gov. Baker’s denial of vaccine to local Public Health Departments and community hospitals has left my 90 year old mother at home with multiple co-morbidities and dementia with continued high risk of infection and death.
She is unable to travel to a start-up mega-site.

The teachers are not denying my mother her right to vaccine, Gov Baker and Secretary Scudders are. Local legislators have been unable to do anything to assist.

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My own 90 year old mother was able to get vaccinated through her Council on Aging site staffed by a pharmacy. She is not disabled.
I could have gone with her and gotten a companion vaccination at a mega site but the idea of long travel, outside waiting lines in bad weather and lack of transportation terrified her. No way would I have forced her into that though I don’t doubt others did with their elders.

There is no good reason for the few housebound such as your mother to be ignored. Our governor chooses to do so regardless. Teachers, grocery workers, undertakers are not the problem.
A disseminating intentionally obtuse administration is the problem.

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