Boston Globe – Governor Charlie Baker has been called to testify at a second legislative oversight hearing exploring Massachusetts’s COVID-19 rollout, according to state lawmakers, who intend to drill down into his administration’s decision to entrust a handful of private companies with running its seven mass vaccination sites.

The March 23 hearing will explore what lawmakers called the rollout’s “technology infrastructure” as well as the public health and emergency response plans the state had spent two decades and millions of dollars creating ahead of the pandemic, legislators said Friday.

The blueprint hinged on mobilizing the state’s vast network of local public health departments to respond in an emergency situation. But shortly after federal drug regulators authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December, the state abandoned essential elements of the plan and turned over its largest vaccination sites to three private providers, the Globe has reported.

News of the hearing came on the same day that a survey showed a significant drop in public approval for Baker’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Baker’s approval rating fell from 80 percent a year ago to 59 percent today, according to a report from Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers, and Northwestern universities.

David Lazer, a Northeastern political science and computer science professor who worked on the survey released Friday, said researchers found that approval ratings for governors’ handling of the pandemic had declined across the country.

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