Rep. Stephen Lynch talks vaccines, American Rescue Plan, MBTA at Monday event

BOSTON — Representative Stephen Lynch was in Massachusetts Monday talking about how he believes the state will benefit from the American Rescue Plan. The congressman also gave an update on vaccine supplies from the federal government.

“They expect by the end of March they will be able to plug in an extra 20 million doses into the pipeline,” Rep. Lynch said.

The federal government said more vaccine is on the way. Rep. Lynch and the rest of the MA congressional delegation recently wrote a letter to the governor criticizing the vaccine rollout. On Monday, the congressman shared some of the blame.

“We were only getting 108,000 or 130,000 doses at one point for weeks, and that was far short of demand. So that, we own that. This was coming through the federal pipeline,” Rep. Lynch said.

The new stimulus package has a large chunk of money to help the state aggressively distribute vaccines

>>>MORE: Worcester field hospital to close Monday after last patient is discharged

“We also took a hard look at areas that were more heavily impacted either because of high minority populations or poorer neighborhoods that did not have the existing infrastructure from a health care standpoint,” Rep. Lynch said.

The congressman also voiced his frustration with the MBTA about their recent cuts despite nearly a billion dollars in aid they just got.

“They get a billion dollars, and they are going to take the billion dollars and lay people off? I don’t think so,” Rep. Lynch said.

“With ridership remaining at less than a third of pre-pandemic levels, the MBTA continues to monitor work and travel patterns and match service to ridership while increasing service for the most transit-critical communities. As it plans ahead for the long-term budget impacts of the pandemic, the T will responsibly spend federal stimulus dollars and monitor ridership and make adjustments as necessary,” MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told Boston 25 News.

The MBTA ridership on the Red, Green and Orange lines is about 25% of what it was before COVID-19. The Blue line ridership is at 38% while bus service is only 42% of what it was pre-pandemic. The MBTA is facing annual budget deficits between $350 and 400 million.

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