Governor Charlie Baker defended his decision to strongly recommend, but not mandate, that unvaccinated people wear masks when schools reopen in the fall. Baker's comments followed criticism from Massachusetts teachers unions, which have attacked him for not ordering stricter precautions.

Speaking at a summer youth progam in Revere, he said that his guidance to only recommend masks in schools for unvaccinated students and staff is because different communities and districts around the state have different vaccination levels, and different threats of infection from COVID-19.

"The other reason we did this is as a series of guidances, advisories and recommendations is because different communities are in different places. You have some communities in Massachusetts where 85 to 95% of all the kids and the middle and high school are vaccinated. You have many other districts in Massachusetts where the numbers are far, far smaller," Baker said.

Baker's guidance issued last week gives ultimate authority over classroom masking to officials in individual districts.

"I'm not going to get into making decisions that I believe in many cases ought to be driven, at the end of the day, by the folks at the local level who know those communities best," Baker said.

Baker left unsaid whether he or other state education officials even have the authority to order a statewide school mask mandate, now that the state of emergency issued in the early days of the pandemic has expired.

Baker also told reporters that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may need to step down if he did in fact sexually harass multiple women as a new independent investigator's report claims. He said that public jobs like governorships carry significant responsibility and accountability.

"If the news coverage, which is extraordinary, is, and I would assume that it is, an accurate representation of the report itself, then I don't see how he can continue to do his job," Baker said.

Baker said he hadn't read the full report, but that details reported by the media suggest that Cuomo's conduct was not in line with his idea of accountability for an elected role.

The governor additionally said he was not invited to former President Barack Obama's upcoming 60th birthday party on Martha's Vineyard, which will reportedly host hundreds of guests at an outdoor event.

"I can tell you, if I were invited, I would have declined, because I think 700 people at an event like that is not a good idea," Baker said.

Obama's event will reportedly follow all current Massachusetts gathering rules and guests will be tested for the virus.