VP VISITS BALTIMORE: Declaring “Today is a good day, Baltimore,” Vice President Kamala Harris marked the 100th day of the Biden administration by visiting a vaccination site at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun. Harris said the nation is beginning to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, even as significant economic and health challenges remain.
- Harris was joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci and they toured the vaccination center with Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Emily Sullivan reports for WYPR. The vice president boarded Marine 2 shortly after her speech, concluding the first visit to Baltimore by her or Biden since their inauguration in January.
- Harris said those administering vaccines are heroes, WBAL reports. “Getting the shot is about not only taking care of ourselves, it’s about loving our neighbor. It’s about being responsible to our community.
- C-SPAN has full video coverage of the speeches.
BIG IMPLICATIONS FOR BIDEN HEALTHCARE PROPOSAL: One of the most well-known health care lobbyists in Annapolis gave an interview with Maryland Reporter’s Bryan Renbaum in which he said it would be a “game changer” if President Joe Biden’s proposal to permanently extend enhanced health care subsidies is implemented.
COUNTIES VARY ON OUTDOOR MASKING REQUIREMENTS: Some of the state’s biggest jurisdictions were grappling Thursday with what to do about outdoor masking, now that Gov. Larry Hogan has repealed the state’s universal outdoor masking order, Erin Cox and Rebecca Tan report for the Post. In Baltimore City, Mayor Brandon Scott said it may take days to figure out a new policy, given the city’s low vaccination rates.
- Carroll County embraced the new rules, allowing the order lifting outdoor masking to go into effect, Bob Blubaugh reports for the Carroll County Times.
- One day after Hogan lifted the mandate, the number of Marylanders hospitalized due to coronavirus and the seven-day average positive test rate of 3.77% on Thursday both continued to decrease, Marcus Dieterle reports for Baltimore Fishbowl. As of Thursday morning, there were 1,080 Marylanders hospitalized with COVID-19, with 13 fewer current coronavirus patients than on Wednesday.
- Anne Arundel County has rescinded its public face coverings requirement outdoors, Kelly Broderick of WMAR reports in a roundup of Maryland’s major jurisdictions.
RESIDENCY OF LAWMAKERS COULD BE REQUIRED: Maryland lawmakers could have to live in the districts they represent under an amendment to the Maryland constitution that will go to Maryland voters for approval next year, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record. Sears goes into some interesting case history of failed court challenges surrounding lawmakers who had homes outside their districts, such as Sen. Clarence Blount, who lived in a condo in Baltimore County but maintained an apartment in his legislative district with no phone and little furniture.
HOMEBOUND STILL WAITING: A long line of unvaccinated people who are homebound remains in Baltimore County, reports John Lee for WYPR. Fewer than 100 have been vaccinated by the county and 182 have been vaccinated by the state.
UM STARTS VACCINATING CHILDREN IN TRIAL: University of Maryland School of Medicine researches have started to vaccinate children ages 6 months to 11 months old with the Moderna vaccine for a clinical trial, Brandon Ingram reports for WMAR.
JUDGE FINDS VIOLATIONS IN KUSHNER REAL ESTATE: A judge has ruled the apartment company of Jared Kushner violated Maryland’s consumer protection laws numerous times at Baltimore-area properties by collecting debts without the required licenses, charging tenants improper fees, and misrepresenting the condition of rental units, Alison Knezevich reports for the Sun.
BMORE CHILDREN, YOUTH FUND UNDER SCRUTINY: Directors of Baltimore’s Children and Youth Fund are defending their operation of the fund which is supposed to award millions of tax dollars to grassroots youth programs each year but has little transparency, Jeff Abell reports for WBFF.
OVERDOSES UP: Preliminary data from 2020 showing the number of intoxication overdoses rose 18.7% in Maryland, a dramatic increase in overdoses, particularly fentanyl, Callen Tansill-Suddath reports for Capital News Service in Maryland Matters.
CHOOSING VIRTUAL LEARNING: The families of hundreds of Harford County Public Schools students have applied to have their children take part in the school system’s virtual learning program, slated to be available for kindergarten through 12th grade in the next school year, David Anderson reports for The Aegis.
STATE LAUNCHES FREE COVID TESTING: Maryland is launching a free COVID-19 testing program in Hagerstown and Salisbury retail facilities to enhance testing in underserved communities, the AP reports in the Cumberland Times-News.
MCCARTHY RUNNING FOR MOCO SA REELECTION: Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy on Wednesday filed for a fifth four-year term, making the Rockville resident the first to file in the 2022 race, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.
HEALTH SEC VISITS WESTERN MD, APPOINTS DEPUTIES: Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Shrader visited Garrett County to support vaccination efforts there, Brenda Ruggiero reports for the Garrett County Republican.
- Shrader also made appointments for his deputies, including adding former Anne Arundel County executive Steve Shuh to his leadership team.