CDC chief joining Baker at Boston vaccine site

A day after she said she was “scared” by the virus data she was seeing in states like Massachusetts, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be in Boston to tour a new federally-support mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center with Gov. Charlie Baker and other officials.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the former head of infectious disease medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, was on the verge of tears Monday when she talked about the troubling trend lines she was seeing in parts of the country, including Massachusetts.

“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared,” Walensky said. She and other White House officials have been pleading with states not to relax pandemic restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including mask mandates.

The increase in case counts and positive test rates in Massachusetts have also prompted calls from lawmakers and public health experts here for the governor to pull back on some of his economic reopening plans and relaxed gathering size limits.

Baker’s office said the governor will be touring the mass vaccination at 1 p.m. with Walensky, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Fenton, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Samantha Phillips, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

The convention center opened last week for vaccinations, and this week fully replaced Fenway Park as one of the state’s seven mass vaccination sites. FEMA announced last week that the Hynes had been chosen for the White House’s federal vaccination site program, which means it will see a significant increase in the number of doses directed to the center, increasing its capacity from about 1,000 shots a day to 7,000.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.