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As Coronavirus Surge Continues, Baker Extends Restrictions 2 More Weeks

A day after Trump-supporting rioters unleashed violence at the Capitol in protest of the election results, Gov. Charlie Baker delivered a scathing rebuke of his party's president and President Donald Trump's response to the unrest, saying Trump should be removed from office and that the vice president should lead the transition.

"The whole thing makes me sick. Yesterday's riot was a dark moment for our country, made even more depressing by the president's role leading up to it and his wholly inadequate and appalling response to the violence," Baker said.

Baker did not initially say anything about removing Trump for office, but when asked later in the press conference he said Trump should be forced to leave, whether by the 25th Amendment, impeachment or another mechanism, and Vice President Mike Pence should bridge the gap until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The comments started off a press conference where Baker announced that business capacity limits and gathering size restrictions put in place almost two weeks ago to control the surge in COVID-19 cases would be extended another two weeks.

Most businesses will now be limited to 25% capacity until Jan. 24.

Also, to help the health care system cope with a 145% increase in hospitalizations over the past six weeks, the state will allow hospitals with certain capacity restraints to request exemptions from mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

"We need to stay in this game a little longer," Baker said.

The governor said detailed data on the state's vaccination efforts would be released later Thursday, but to date 329,000 first and second doses of vaccine have been shipped to Massachusetts, and 154,132 doses have been administered.

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