Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement on MaineHealth late this afternoon:
“We are in the midst of the largest, most difficult vaccination effort of our time and our health care providers have been important partners in this effort. But we have a limited supply of the vaccine and we have had to prioritize who can be vaccinated. Right now, we are focused on protecting those who are providing direct care – frontline health care workers and those who are 70 or older because their lives are most at risk. MaineHealth’s decision to vaccinate outside of the strategy undermines the public’s confidence in our efforts. Simply put, it was not the appropriate way to give away our precious vaccine.
Beyond that, vaccinating out-of-state contractors who came here to disrupt a union organizing effort was an insult to the hardworking nurses trying to assert their rights and to those who are waiting patiently for their turn. The 80 year old grandmother who hasn’t seen her family in months, the man being treated for cancer, the teacher wanting to return to the classroom, the grocery clerks and delivery drivers who are exposed to the public and working to put food on the table.
“That was an inexcusable act. I am glad they have recognized their error and have committed to follow our strategy, as is required of all vaccine providers in Maine,” the Governor’s press release ended.
Governor Mills statement was referring to a report in the “Portland Press Herald,” today, Tuesday, February 9, 2021 by Kelley Bouchard. In the front page article, Bouchard reviewed a previous article in which it was disclosed that MaineHealth vaccinated all of its employees – including those working remotely and not in face-to-face situations with COVID-19 patients. Perhaps more significant, was the revelation that MaineHealth vaccinated out-of-state consultants who arrived in Maine and were hired to “help fight an effort to unionize nurses.” In other words, MaineHealth whose president is the soon to retire Bill Caron, disobeyed MaineCDC guidelines who called for health care workers and those over 70 years old to be prioritized to receive vaccinations – not remote workers and especially out-of-staters – here to fight the unionization of nurses at MMC and hired by MMC to do that.
Caron’s successor will have some clean up work to do when he takes over the reigns at MaineHealth this spring. Clean up work left behind by the poor judgment of Bill Caron at MaineHealth and with it an attempt to restore the creditability of MaineHealth. Dr. Andrew Mueller currently works in Virginia.
Please post herein dated February 3, 2021 for more background information. MaineHealth recently established a vaccination clinic at The Downs, Scarborough. Please see post herein dated January 30, 2021 for more background information on it.