As COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain low, Scott hints at turning economy back on

At a press briefing Wednesday, Gov. Phil Scott said Vermonters can expect at least one more extension of the state of emergency order as he prepares to lay out his plans on Friday for getting people back to work.

“This may get harder before it gets easier, but as soon as the data shows a leveling and downward trend, then, and only then, will we open the spigot a quarter turn at a time to get folks back to work in a way that’s responsible and safe,” Scott said during his update on the state’s response to the coronavirus.

“I know this has taken tremendous sacrifice, and most of you just want to know when is this going to end, when is life going to get back to normal,” he said.

Accompanied by Health Department Commissioner Mark Levine and Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith, the governor said the cases and deaths related to COVID-19 are “tracking at a rate lower than originally projected.”

U.S. Department of State

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott

The number of coronavirus deaths in Vermont is holding steady at 23. The state now estimates that the total number of deaths in this first wave of the pandemic will range between 44 and 100. Scott said the forecast could have been as high as 1,000 if he had not issued orders shutting down businesses, limiting public meetings and requiring individuals to stay at home to help limit the spread.

This comes as the Vermont Department of Labor is set to release a jobs report Thursday that will show at least another 40,000 Vermonters have lost their jobs due to the governor’s shutdown orders in the past month.

Combined with the prior two week’s reports, the number of job losses is expected to reach around 60,000 — and that number may not include thousands more backlogged cases, as the DOL struggles to process a high volume of new claims for unemployment insurance.

Scott said by the end of the week the administration will provide updated statistics on the projections for the virus. He said this data will show some of the early projections for the virus may have been overestimated.

Levine also said real trends show the virus isn’t as severe as originally thought.

“It really does indicate that we are probably not heading towards what we would term a worst-case scenario,” he said. “In fact, the scenario may be even better than was originally thought.”

Like the governor, Levine was not quite ready to tell Vermonters they can get back to work and relax social distancing.

As of Tuesday, the state has administered 7,129 tests — 10 percent or less have turned out positive for the coronavirus.

Levine added that new rapid tests provided by the federal government would begin in days. The new tests developed by Abbott Laboratories involve 15 machines, each of which can carry out 120 rapid evaluations. The medical devices will allow for 1,800 tests to be conducted.

Vermont is not the only state to project more hospitalizations and deaths than have occurred so far. Early modeling of the pandemic forecast up to 2.2 million U.S. deaths from the coronavirus, but latest estimates from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have been revised down to 60,400. IHME originally estimated between 48,000 and 65,000 beds would be required for hospitalizations in New York by April 4, but when the date arrived the state needed fewer than 16,000.

A new study by the Imperial College in the U.K. estimates that when accounting for those who never get tested for the coronavirus, the death rate of the virus goes as low as 0.15 percent.

Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. reached 12,754 as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, between 24,000 and 63,000 Americans have died of seasonal flu since Oct. 1.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of U.S. Army National Guard/Michelle Gonzalez/CC BY 2.0 and U.S. Department of State
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15 thoughts on “As COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain low, Scott hints at turning economy back on

  1. Ignore the governor and stage massive resistance if the government fails to remove ALL restrictions in two weeks!

  2. The state now estimates that the total number of deaths in this first wave of the pandemic will range between 44 and 100. Scott said the forecast could have been as high as 1,000 if he had not issued orders shutting down businesses, limiting public meetings and requiring individuals to stay at home to help limit the spread.
    I hope he didn’t dislocate his shoulder patting himself on his back.
    Forcing businesses to close is bad government no matter the reason. Inform people and ask them to use their best judgement to keep people safe. We are smarter than he thinks we are.

    • Mr. Stern

      You are well aware that is not the way the Left operates,they tend towards the heavy handed, authoritarian methods,so the governor is just going with what he knows, not surprising at all.

  3. “Governor Scott hints at turning economy back on”

    But first he has to lick his finger and stick it up in the air to figure out what group think is, the man is totally gutless/worthless and a self proven liar to boot.

  4. “Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. reached 12,754 as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, between 24,000 and 63,000 Americans have died of seasonal flu since Oct. 1.”

    Pneumonia deaths for the US are way down; are pneumonia deaths being counted as COVID, especially in light of lax CDC rules on COVID death reporting, requiring no confirmation?

    • and from what I’m reading the Covid testing, tests for corona viruses…not necessarily covid 19, they are told to report regardless that it’s covid 19

      it will be interesting to see, do we no longer have flu or pneumonia deaths or a sharp reduction?

      There is so much that points to crappy science and heavy propaganda it’s tough to discern reality….

      then if you watch the Epoch times documentary on the start of the virus, along with reactions and time tables, the questioning becomes even stronger. Which is further strengthened by those who are propagating disastrous cures over common sense working remedies.

      Maybe we’ll find that we can cure other viruses in the mean time with $20 fix rather than long expensive hospital stays…..but that could open an even larger pandorian box to which Vermonters and Americans may not be ready for.

    • You’re asking intelligent questions that would reveal an accurate picture of the truth. Why aren’t those in the white house press briefings asking these exact questions?

      • Since your question of 4/8 I believe it was on ABC the host asked the female doctor pn the WH lawn about that. She said if a person had a serious illness (would die anyway) and contacted the virus and died, it would be listed as a virus death. Believe the CDC pushed this. In that regard, I suppose if a person got shot and died while having the virus, it would be a virus death.Likewise a serious vehicle accident, it was virus induced. Glad there’s no airplane accidents.

        Hey the murder rate dropped suddenly. Notice not much news about street killings? Aw the reliable government, push any agenda.

        • Yes, the CDC pushed out new guidance on reporting COVID deaths: “COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death,” as of March 24.

          We also hear stories about bodies backed up at morgues and crematoriums. This may be because of COVID, but not directly: “New York State Funeral Directors Association director Mike Lanotte said religious cemeteries, including ones run by the Archdiocese of New York, have put protocols in place to protect staff working in cemeteries that have led to less manpower.

          “’They’re not able to bury as many people in a day as they normally would and that’s a concern because if there’s a large number of cemeteries that start to do this, we’re going to start to have — for lack of a better word — a bottleneck,’ Lanotte told The Post.” https://nypost.com/2020/03/31/nyc-morgues-cemeteries-overwhelmed-amid-coronavirus-official/

          So while there’s no doubt that people are dying from COVID, there can also be little doubt that the story is being spun to make things seem much worse than they really are. This isn’t necessarily because of malicious intent, but these things happen when panic and fear take over.

          Reports that NYC is running out of space to bury bodies are pure and utter fiction. 14,000 people die each month in the NYC metropolitan area in a “normal” month; they know what to do with those bodies.

  5. “Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. reached 12,754 as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, between 24,000 and 63,000 Americans have died of seasonal flu since Oct. 1.”

    I think that says it all.

    Not only that, but pneumonia deaths are way down in the US this year, so likely those who died of COVID were in-line to die from pneumonia– or, they may simply be the same deaths, since the CDC has recently ruled that any suspicion of COVID death be called such: no proof needed.

    This has been a fiasco of the first order, as Dr. Ioannidis, a world-renowned physician and statistician had warned from the very start, since the actual data we had early on told us there was no need to panic and shut down the economy. What did we do? We panicked. Dr. Fauci played a key role in this nonsense.

    Yes, we hear stories of funeral homes and crematoriums in NYC being overrun but what we don’t hear is that directives were laid out to cut back on cemetery workers to prevent the spread of the virus; hence, these back-ups and bodies piling up are largely a reflection of the slow-down in burials in a metropolitan area that has some 14,000 deaths per month in any case.

    The news media has done a wonderful job of one-sided and inaccurate reporting.

    We were told that bodies were dying in tents in NYC and that Elmhurst hospital was, for several days, the poster-child for pandemonium at the hospitals. Only problem is, numerous citizen videos merely days afterwards showed no one, absolutely no one, in these supposed disaster zones, and not only were there no people dying in tents, but there was no one in the tents, period. One of these key videos has since been removed: we wouldn’t want people to know the truth, would we? Yet that’s all it showed: the truth. Is truth also a casualty of this outrageous and over-hyped hysteria?

  6. Governor Scott hints at turning economy back on, that sounds great, but let’s
    use the old adage ” Look Before You Leap ” !!

    We should keep social distancing for now or until we see the elimination of this
    Wuhan Virus or a vaccine ” Not Likely ” any time soon.

    Vermont’s Government needs to get supplies like a mask, hand sanitizers or any
    other germ-killing products to its citizens.

    • Any such supplies should be acquired by medical facilities and their personnel, not government. The more we invite government to take action, the less we will retain of our freedoms and money.

      By the way, I have gotten no response from UVM to my question about whether they conduct any bioengineering on their campuses.

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