Police are investigating after state Representative Mike Connolly received a threatening message on Saturday evening in response to a letter calling on Governor Charlie Baker to extend the stay-at-home advisory until at least the beginning of June.
The Cambridge-based representative said the message, which was posted on Facebook in response to the letter, suggested someone might approach him with a gun.
“I was taken aback,” said Connolly, who said he has spoken with a detective about the post. “It gave me the chills to be honest.”
Cambridge police officials confirmed that Connolly had contacted them about a threat related to his letter to the governor, and that police are investigating the matter.
While police declined to provide further details about the nature of the threat, a recent comment on Connolly’s page shows a photo of a firearm, accompanied by the words “You might want to rethink your letter.”
Connolly is joined by several lawmakers who believe the state should strive to meet safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization before easing restrictions. Eleven other representatives have signed Connolly’s letter since it was first published on Friday.
This afternoon, 12 Democratic lawmakers are calling on @MassGovernor to keep the #StayAtHome advisory in place through June 1. Currently, our 7-day average for positive #COVID19 test results exceeds @WHO benchmarks, and there's too much confusion about what to expect on Monday. pic.twitter.com/jBrqUn4ZEn— Mike Connolly (@MikeConnollyMA) May 16, 2020
While the state has made great strides in increasing the number of daily tests and reducing positive cases, testing remains limited and the raw number of new cases remains high, according to the letter. Current guidelines for reopening are also missing crucial details about how the plan will be implemented, according to the lawmakers.
“Clearly we can all recognize that we’ve made a lot of progress,” Connolly said. “The question is have we hit all the sufficient benchmarks to make sure we can keep moving forward.”
Feedback from the constituents that Connolly speaks to regularly has been “overwhelmingly supportive,” he said. Poll numbers show that most Massachusetts citizens support current social-distancing restrictions, despite how things appear on social media.
“It seems like an unfortunate reflection of the rhetoric that comes from Donald Trump and others,” Connolly said.
Abigail Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.