The anniversary no one wants to celebrate – POLITICO – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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PANDEMIC STATE — Two years ago today, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency over Covid-19.

Cases had doubled — to 92. Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and political breakfast had already been canceled, but the marathon was still on for April. The State House wasn’t closed to the public yet. The WHO wouldn’t declare Covid a pandemic until the next day.

Seven hundred and thirty days later, here’s a look at the pandemic by the numbers in the Bay State:

1,546,685 — Total confirmed Covid cases, per Wednesday’s DPH report.

22,944 — People confirmed to have died from Covid.

31 percent — The highest seven-day average positivity, reported on March 8, 2020.

0.31 percent — The lowest seven-day average positivity, reported on June 25, 2021.

5,300,535 — People fully vaccinated against Covid.

8.6 — The percent of fully vaccinated people who have contracted breakthrough cases.

462 — Days Massachusetts was under a state of emergency.

708 — Days the State House was closed to the public.

Infinite — March 2020.

GOOD THURSDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. The Senate is marking this Covid anniversary by taking up its version of legislation to overhaul oversight of the Holyoke and Chelsea soldiers’ homes after coronavirus outbreaks at both facilities in 2020 turned deadly.

The House and Senate bills would both make the top official at each facility a licensed nursing home administrator. But while the House added layers to the chain of command, the Senate is working to streamline it. State Sen. John Velis, who represents Holyoke and has been working closely with veteran advocates, told Playbook that removing “burdensome reporting layers” is a “priority” given the well-documented communication breakdowns that contributed to the Holyoke tragedy.

Veterans’ advocates who panned the House version of the bill”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.masslive.com/opinion/2022/02/house-failed-miserably-in-legislation-for-governing-soldiers-home-in-holyoke-viewpoint.html”,”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756c80000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756c80001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}” target=”_blank”>panned the House version of the bill are more optimistic about the Senate’s proposal. And they hope, after an inevitable conference committee, that the final legislation will strengthen governance and oversight of the soldiers’ homes, preserve local input and restore trust in the facilities that’s been long lacking.

“The veteran community wants to feel comfortable with where this legislation is going to be, and feel that the home is going to be better able to care for its veterans,” John Paradis, a leader of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition and a former deputy superintendent at the facility, told Playbook. “If we don’t come out of this legislation with some assurance that those systems have been put in place, I don’t think we would have achieved what we were hoping to achieve.”

TODAY — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov discuss how Boston is standing in solidarity with Ukraine during an 8 a.m. call. Wu makes a rent-stabilization announcement at 11 a.m. at Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury.

Acting Gov. Karyn Polito visits Fitchburg High School at 11 a.m. and participates in Jane Doe Inc.’s 15th Anniversary White Ribbon Day Campaign virtual event at 5:30 p.m. Auditor Suzanne Bump chairs a meeting of the Municipal Finance Oversight Board at 11 a.m. Governor hopeful Geoff Diehl kicks off his “Berkshires to Boston” tour at 8 a.m. in Lee. Attorney General Maura Healey attends evening gubernatorial campaignfundraisers in Boston.

Tips? Scoops? Annoyed with the weather whiplash? Email me: lkashinsky@politico.com”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”mailto:lkashinsky@politico.com”,”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756cc0001″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756cc0002″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}” target=”_blank”>[email protected].

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12, Operating Engineers Local 4 (IUOE Local 4), Roofers Local 33 and Teamsters Local 122 have endorsed Shannon Liss-Riordan for state attorney general. The unions represent about 10,000 workers, her campaign said.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Marblehead community activist and Democrat Jenny Armini is launching her campaign for 8th Essex District state representative today. Armini cofounded grassroots political group ElectBlue and has worked on Capitol Hill, at the state Department of Revenue and at MassINC. She was also former Acting Gov. Jane Swift’s speechwriter. Armini follows fellow Democrat Doug Thompson into the race to succeed former state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, who left to serve as FEMA’s regional administrator in New England.

— ALSO GETTING IN: Gardner Republican Bruce Chester, a retired U.S. Army captain, is again challenging Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik for the Second Worcester House seat, per a MassGOP press release.

— State Rep. Paul Donato is running for reelection in the 35th Middlesex District.

“2022 elections are important, women say — but a poll suggests they may be too overwhelmed to prioritize politics,”“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://19thnews.org/2022/03/2022-elections-women-political-fatigue/”,”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756cf0005″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-7414-d9f7-afff-f6b756cf0006″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}” target=”_blank”>“2022 elections are important, women say — but a poll suggests they may be too overwhelmed to prioritize politics,” by Barbara Rodriguez, The 19th News: “More women are increasingly disengaging with politics even as they see the stakes rising, according to a new poll from the Women & Politics Institute at American University and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Forty-one percent of women say they’re more tuned out from politics — a 12-point increase compared to polling conducted last year. The figure was higher for women of color (49 percent) and women under 40 (55 percent). That’s despi


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