We Asked Mass. Residents to Grade Gov. Baker's Handling of the Pandemic

While there was a wide range of thought about Baker's overall performance this year, no one gave him near a failing grade

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After more than a year of daily COVID-19 guidance from Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts residents are reflecting on his leadership.

NBC10 Boston and NECN asked residents to give Baker a grade based on his performance leading the state through the pandemic as well as the reopening and vaccination processes.

While there were a wide range of opinions about Baker‘s overall performance this past year, no one gave him near a failing grade. 

Nicola Pugliese, of Wellesley, gave Baker an A+ because she said she appreciated his transparency and fact-based approach.

“When things didn’t go right he regrouped, pivoted, learned from it, moved on," Pugliese said.

But Rita Colafella, of Watertown, gave Baker a C. Colafella thought Baker was inconsistent and could’ve done better.

“Just looking at the rollout for the vaccine… It didn’t go very well," Colafella said.

The majority fell somewhere in-between those two extremes. 

Conor Sheehy, of Newton, gave Baker, “a solid B+.”  

"Overall, things have gotten a lot more smoothly than in many other places," Sheehy said.

It’s B grade from Megan Howlan, of Allston, who said, “I think he did the best he could with what he had. Nobody’s ready for a pandemic.”

Gov. Charlie Baker announces that all Massachusetts COVID-19 restrictions, including wearing masks, will be lifted on May 29. He also announced that the state of emergency will be lifted June 15.

Alex Goldstein, a former press secretary for Deval Patrick's administration, said, “It’s a mixed legacy. I don’t think any of us can do a victory lap with 18,000 people dead.”

Goldstein said he is well aware of the type of complexities Baker faced. The Baker administration does deserve credit for what started as a badly flawed vaccine rollout, Goldstein said.

“And turning it into something that is now sort of the envy of the country," Goldstein added.

But some of those deaths may have been avoidable, according to Goldstein.

“I think it’s an incomplete history to just focus are either on how quickly we were vaccinated or on how catastrophically we got hit," Goldstein said.

Most everyone agree on one thing - they wouldn't want to be in Gov. Baker's position.

“I don’t know how he slept in the last year and a half. That poor man," Pugliese said.

Jordana Greenman, of Watertown, said, “I would not want to be a governor in any state during the pandemic I think that it was horrifying.”

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