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covid-19 vaccine stock photo ig: @hakannural
Poll: Black Marylanders embrace COVID-19 vaccine; rate discrepancies persist

Vaccine hesitancy among Black Marylanders has plummeted. Sixty percent of Black residents say they will either get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can or indicate they’ve already received at least one dose, according to the most recent Goucher College Poll. That’s the same percentage who said they would not get such a vaccine just five months ago. The causes and public health implications of this dramatic shift are worth considering, as are some potential blind spots of the data. For starters, the drop in hesitancy didn’t just happen, nor can it just be explained simply by the availability of the vaccine.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore public works leadership: It’s about performance, not pay

The cost to replace a water main can run thousands of dollars per foot. Heck, a single backhoe to dig out a faulty drainage pipe might be $75,000, not including the operator’s pay. But all that pales compared to the expense of eliminating sewage overflows from Baltimore’s Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant: The ongoing, court-supervised Headworks Project carries a price tag of $430 million at last check. So, if there’s one thing Baltimore needs desperately, it’s a highly qualified person supervising these concerns. Too much is at stake to consider any other strategy. We need a Tom Brady to quarterback the team.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
School reopening in Montgomery County is a matter of equity

Minorities in our country, specifically African Americans, have been unfairly treated by the medical establishment for centuries. This long history of abuse and severe lack of trust has exacerbated the equity chasm during the coronavirus pandemic and may make recovery — from medical, economic and educational standpoints — that much harder for our most affected communities.

Believing in Baltimore, Sal Choudhary wants to turn more renters into homeowners

I wasn’t kidding last year when I suggested that billionaire Michael Bloomberg invest $500 million in the acquisition, renovation and sale of 5,000 vacant houses in Baltimore. Someone — perhaps a classmate from his undergraduate days at Hopkins, maybe someone in City Hall — needs to invite him to do it. Bloomberg is an original member of The Giving Pledge, the commitment he, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other wealthy Americans made 10 years ago to give at least half of their fortunes to worthy causes.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Help Desk: Departures of prominent CEOs show importance of succession planning

Early February was a busy time for high-profile founders and CEOs to exit their organizations. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he would leave his post, and Merck’s chairman and chief executive officer, Kenneth Frazier, shared his plans to retire. From these announcements, it appears both Bezos and Frazier, as well as their respective companies, had worked on plans to transition to a role as executive chairman for at least several years. Moreover, these instances illustrate how succession planning can secure the future of a business while freeing up the owner or CEO to explore other opportunities or interests.

People on a video call
Telemedicine flourished amid the pandemic, here’s how to keep it going – and why

In 2014, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) issued a comprehensive report, with excellent recommendations to help expand the use of what is known as telemedicine or telehealth. Here’s the basic idea: Since most people have access to smartphones or computers, some aspects of health care can and should go online. This wasn’t a revolutionary notion, given the general migration of most industries, such as retail and travel, to online platforms. Health care had been slow to the game, however, and MHCC noted that in the prior year, only 16 practitioners in the state had submitted telemedicine claims to payers, representing a very small percentage of annual health care visits by Marylanders.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
red apple fruit on four pyle books
Want to help Maryland’s youth? Hire more health instructors and stop arguing over common sense legislation

You may have heard that things are quite different in the operations of this year’s Maryland General Assembly. Yes, there is virtual participation and livestreaming of sessions not experienced before. However, our organization watches all bills that come through session, carefully considering the impact of legislation and reforms affecting gender justice. And from what we’ve seen thus far, our legislators are still subject to distractions by those who do not want to acknowledge the basic rights and realities of our youth.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Our View: For most, for now, the answer to your COVID questions is, ‘wait your turn’

As County Commissioner Ed Rothstein and County Health Officer Ed Singer answered COVID-19 questions for more than 90 minutes during a virtual town hall Tuesday, one thing became abundantly clear. No one can understand why they haven’t already been vaccinated. Regardless of age, with or without pre-existing conditions, everyone thinks they have been wronged by being forced to wait. It’s understandable. Telling people to wait their turn for a trip to the buffet or for a Black Friday sale is one thing. Telling them to wait their turn to get a dose of vaccine that could save their life or end a too-long stint of being a prisoner in their own home is a much harder sell.

Hogan’s COVID order: incautious, uncoordinated, unwise

Gov. Larry Hogan’s biggest mistake in his decision to lift many coronavirus restrictions statewide is not so much in the details — although lifting capacity limits on restaurants and allowing people to gather indoors unmasked seems particularly risky when less than 10% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated — but in his failure to consult or even inform local governments first. The governor’s executive order, for the first time, specifically renders null and void existing local restrictions — made based on the particular COVID conditions within a jurisdiction — as of 5 p.m. Friday.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Editorial Advisory Board: Redfield is the wrong man for the job

Amid intense criticism for the chaotic and inequitable way in which vaccines are distributed in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan has committed yet another misstep by naming Dr. Robert Redfield as his new senior adviser to support Maryland’s response to COVID-19.  Redfield is the absolute wrong person for the job. Redfield, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former University of Maryland AIDS researcher, most recently served as director of the Centers for Disease Control under President Donald Trump.

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