Episode 160: Vax to the Future

40 minutes

12/9/20-- In keeping with baseless election fraud lawsuits happening around the country, Massachusetts political hopefuls have decided to join in the fun. A handful of unsuccessful GOP candidates for Congress and state office in Massachusetts are asking that a federal court overturn the 2020 election results in the state. The claim is that mail-in voting is unconstitutional, but the plaintiffs are not likely to be successful. Suits like these have already been shut down elsewhere in the country, and, Jenn points out, "The biggest hurdle they’re facing right now might just be that they they filed so late. They filed in December so the judge is very very unlikely to suddenly rule that we should throw out an election that happened in November.”

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This week brings sad and exciting news for Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the rates of COVID-19 infections are peaking, with wastewater data showing more community infections than we had in April. And while this week Gov. Charlie Baker announced rollbacks to the reopening plan, bringing the state to Phase 3, Step 1, the details of that plan have public health experts in the state pushing back on Baker. Dr. Ashish Jha, once a supporter of Baker's handling of the crisis, published a series of tweets condemning the governor's lack of more drastic action.

In brighter news, though, the governor did also roll out the plan for vaccine dissemination. The plan estimates the vaccine to be available to the general public in April to May.

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A new poll out from the Museum of Science and The MassINC Polling Group finds a vast majority of Massachusetts residents will take the vaccine, which is good news from a public health standpoint. There are, however, differences among demographic groups when it comes to skepticism around the vaccine and *when* they will be willing to take it. It is often wealthy, white groups who are the most likely to take the vaccine immediately after it becomes available to them. President of the Museum of Science Tim Ritchie stops by The Horse Race to talk about the implications of these breakdowns and what can be done to build up public trust in the scientific community.

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