The federal government and the state of Maine have largely failed in their response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This always was a race to vaccinate people before new, and more virulent, variants of the virus appeared. Vaccination should have been mandated by the federal government: Don’t leave without it because you will not be admitted to any public place.

Failing a federal mandate, the state of Maine should have mandated vaccinations, booster shots and mask wearing in all public places. That the state did not is why the number of infections and deaths has increased and likely will remain high. This is a failure of leadership, which is inexcusable.

We require children to be vaccinated against multiple diseases to be allowed to attend school. Why is the COVID-19 vaccination different?

Jeff Emerson
Portland

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