‘Blame me’: Gov. Phil Scott discusses vaccine requirements for state employees, masking policies at schools

Montpelier, Vt. — At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott and members of his administration discussed the start of the school year, the latest COVID-19 trends in Vermont, and continued to encourage Vermonters to get vaccinated.

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks is embedded below.


I’d like to start this week by acknowledging that today is International Overdose Awareness Day. For 18 months, so much of our focus has been on the pandemic. But it is critical to remember, long before COVID, and to this day, we are still confronted with the impacts of overdoses and the deaths that follow.

Unfortunately, there is no denying that over the last year and a half, overdoses have increased. With all the stresses from COVID, barriers to treatment, businesses closing and the uncertainty of the past 18 months, people with substance use disorder have been impacted significantly.

To those who suffer from addiction, I want you to know that help is waiting for you. There is currently no waitlist for Medically Assisted Treatment (M.A.T) and we have many dedicated Vermonters who are here to help you overcome these challenges. Additionally, we have 163 distribution sites for Narcan, through community programs, which can be found at VT Help Link (https://vthelplink.org/).

I also want to thank our EMS professionals who are key to our efforts. So far this year, they have helped distribute over 17,000 doses of Narcan, which saves lives.

Vermont has been a national model in working to overcome the opioid epidemic, but we know we need to refocus in this area because there is clearly much more to do. My team will continue to focus on getting Vermonters the support and stability they need. In a few minutes, Secretary Smith and Deputy Commissioner Dougherty will talk more about some of the work being done in this area.


Next, Vermont just passed another important milestone: 75% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have received at least one dose – the first state in the nation to get there. And we are eagerly awaiting FDA approval of the vaccine for kids under 12, and hope that will happen within the next month or two.

It is important to acknowledge that the medical experts are telling us: That COVID-19 is here to stay, but hopefully it will be a future where COVID-19 could be another cold or flu we have to deal with because vaccines have proven to be safe and effective and doing their job. So, I am confident Vermont parents will step up when it’s time.


Next, I want to spend a few minutes putting Vermont’s current situation into context because despite what you might see on Twitter, we are in a much better place than perhaps any other state because, again, vaccines have proven to be very effective at preventing cases and even more effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

More specifically, as you know, over 85% of those eligible and 75% of our total population has at least one dose. Over 68% of our total population is fully vaccinated – and that number is increasing every day. As a result, we are better protected than any other state from Delta, and the data shows it.

Also, we are hearing a lot about the CDC transmission map, which has all Vermont counties – and the vast majority of counties across the country — in a “High” or “Substantial” transmission category. But as I pointed out last week, the one-size-fits-all policy doesn’t always paint an accurate picture for our rural state. So, here is what the CDC map looks like in Vermont, using the numbers:

In the last 14 days — during what we expect is nearly the peak of the Delta surge — the daily average for Essex County, which has been orange or red on the CDC map, has been 0.9 cases per day, which is less than one case per day. Here’s the daily case number, on average, in our other counties:

  • Grand Isle = 2.1 cases per day
  • Orange = 3.4 cases per day
  • Lamoille = 4 cases per day
  • Addison = 4.2 cases per day
  • Caledonia = 4.7 cases per day
  • Orleans = 6.8 cases per day
  • Franklin = 7.1 cases per day
  • Windham = 7.5 cases per day
  • Windsor = 9.2 cases per day
  • Rutland = 10.2 cases per day
  • Bennington = 10.6 cases per day
  • Washington = 17.4 cases per day

And by far the largest per day number is in our most populated county with our biggest city, with 40.5 cases per day in Chittenden County.

Now, keep in mind, these counties are in the same CDC category as counties in Florida with a per capita case rate that is 10 times higher than the highest case rate in Vermont.

Most importantly, Vermont continues to have the lowest hospitalization rate in the United States. Again, if we had Florida’s hospitalization rates, we would have around 500 Vermonters hospitalized instead of 28. But it is not just Florida. If we had Connecticut’s hospitalization rate, for example, which has the 5th lowest rate in the nation, we would be talking about over 75 hospitalized instead of 28.

So, the message here is clear: Get vaccinated! Because we have proven they work.

Unfortunately, the message that vaccines are doing exactly what they need to do seems to be getting lost, and some are not seeing how vital they are to making COVID-19 just another cold or flu that is circulating.

So, I hope folks hear loud and clear: vaccines are still changing the game and we need people to keep stepping up to get their shot and to get the booster when the time comes.

Speaking of vaccines, as you recall, a few weeks ago I announced my team was moving forward with a vaccine requirement for State employees, including in Corrections, the Veterans’ Home and the State Psychiatric Hospital.

At the end of last week, we were pleased to reach an agreement with the Corrections employees, which will become effective September 1. Across the impacted areas, this will affect about 1,000 employees who will have to attest that they are fully vaccinated, or they will be required to test for COVID weekly and wear a mask while at work.

We are now also considering expanding this requirement across State government and we will have those discussions in the near future.


Lastly, in a few minutes Secretary French will provide an update on schools as the new year gets underway. But I wanted to take a moment to address the contention at some school board meetings over the last several weeks.

The school boards and superintendents who are implementing masking policies are simply doing what the State — at my direction — is recommending. The attacks towards them are absolutely unacceptable, and if they want to blame someone, they can blame me.

Now, it is good news — and a reason for optimism — that the data does not justify a State of Emergency. But the fact remains that without one, the State cannot unilaterally mandate these policies, which is exactly why we provided the advisory recommendations for schools to implement these mandates. Because this is what we believe schools should be doing at this point.

So, again, I want to be very clear to those who are upset at their school district: They are simply following the State’s advice.


Click here to view the full press conference, including remarks from Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, Secretary of Education Dan French, Human Services Secretary Mike Smith, Deputy Health Commissioner Kelly Dougherty and the state’s weekly data and modeling presentation from Commissioner Michael Pieciak.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont/Facebook

17 thoughts on “‘Blame me’: Gov. Phil Scott discusses vaccine requirements for state employees, masking policies at schools

  1. Where is the isolated sample of this “Delta variant”? What proof do these “authorities” have that it exists?

  2. Why don’t you require the Superintendents and Boards to take accountability for mismanagement of budgets and failing to represent communities then? Sounds like you are more fearful of progressives than the Vermont taxpayer. Keep advocating parents, it’s working.

  3. As Governor Scott has been warned that the experimental “Operation Warp Speed” “Clot Shots” are not safe as the VAERS data is public demonstrating unprecedented death and injury from these concoctions, but Pfizer Phil persists in urging the public to take the jab, while not providing to the public adequate warnings that they could be severely injured, die, or be rendered infertile.

    Governor Scott is Pfizer Phil, because he has taken big money from Pfizer to become Governor, and Pfizer Phil’s net worth as Governor has jumped several million dollars.

    In continuing to urge people to take the shots, Governor Phil Scot aka “Pfizer Phil” can correctly regarded as part of a gang, hiding behind a mask of decorum, care and sincerity, while behind the front, he is assisting people to commit suicide by urging these dangerous concoctions, when effective medical treatments like ivermectin are vilified.

    • Bruce,
      This is the first I have heard of Phil Scott taking big money from Pfizer to become Governor. Do you have any proof of this? It seems a little odd since Scott was elected Governor in 2016 .

  4. We will, don’t worry, Scotty. Nuremberg 2.0 WILL happen, rest assured.
    All of you who colluded, stayed silent, and pushed this experimental (and thus we don’t know what the hell will happen because…you know…they stopped the trials because all the animals died – safe for humans who’re lower than ants on Scotty’s scale) medical procedure without informed consent…for an illness that ranks 13th in mortality rates, and has a 99.6% recovery rate.
    In a NORMAL world, that would be cause for celebration…we don’t need to focus on that because its a non-issue – but every cabal needs a hammer to keep us inline and compliant, and dumber than dumb – and here we go – a cure that is worse than the disease, and now, dumbly AGAIN…we are passing on this dumbness to our children who have an even HIGHER rate of survival closing in on 99.9% – or – UNAFFECTED.
    Masks don’t work.
    There was never ever any virus isolated in the history of ‘viruses’ – ask the CDC – they confirm that ‘no isolation has occurred’ for ALL viruses… not just this one.
    So…what are they curing?
    And why is heart disease, the leading cause of mortality in the US and Vermont – not paid as much attention to and getting people healthy and well again?
    Not as much profit to be made when people adjust their lifestyles to more exercise and eating fresh foods…can’t have that…that puts our health in OUR hands. As it should be.
    Being vulnerable to this – whatever THIS is – is predetermined by your co-morbidities.
    But lets not address how unhealthy the people are who get this thing.
    Scotty – we will remember – as well as all your flunkies and go alongs to get alongs that colluded with you and this absolutely unethical medical experiment and caused deaths that would not have happened otherwise, and long lasting side effects no one will ever get over.
    Yeah… you go with that, Scotty, and tell us you are ‘just looking out for us.”
    You’re a fricking politician and will say anything your handler Fakechi tells you…because you are good and compliant member of the party.

  5. He voted and touted voting for biden too… Just another feather in his Not Knowing Squat cap… So I guess we can now put his leadership skillz right up there with
    the incompetent applesauce brain idjit in the White House.. what he’s not telling you
    is the majority of those in the hospital now are VAXED….The stupid isn’t working any longer…

  6. When the people start dying BECAUSE they have impaired immune systems from the vax, and or heart attacks, thrombosis, etc, which is expected to begin this fall, when the vaxxed people realize that you are lying, how you have had therapeutic safer alternatives to cure covid that you won’t promote and that you are coercing the people to kill their kids ( the vax is more dangerous than covid) through this injection of graphene laced spike protein toxins. When the people figure it out, and they are, there will be no place for you in VT, the people will blame you, and it won’t be safe for you to show your face, I believe they will chase you down, and everyone responsible for murder.

  7. Oh, we do blame you, Governor. Believe me we do. And we ask what are your China connections?


  8. Dear Scott,
    You sir are the shining example of a moron.
    First, the jab is NOT safe and has been shown in the CDC’s own website to be less effective than your telling us.
    Its as plain as the nose on your face. If people that have had the second shot and are getting the china virus then its not helping; Obviously. Your pushing this false narrative and not telling the citizens of this state the truth.
    The fact is, there are thousands of injured and many dead from this supposed safe and effective shot.
    Who ever your getting your information from is lying to you. But I will bet that you know the truth and your just going along with the lie.
    Some of us reading and hearing your BS know better and we will not submit to unconstitutional mandates. JUST SAY NO!
    Read the Nuremburg codes.





      • Add me to the thanks above! I am really tired of the lies from our government that is supposed to protect it’s citizens. These people are in so deep now that they cannot admit they are wrong. When’s the last time any of you heard a politician say, sorry I was wrong.

        It won’t happen and that’s why we have elections as free people. Voting for this current mess is insanity. There is no truth anywhere to be found. These people obviously do not read current data that’s easily found on the internet. masks are worthless and the vaccine isn’t a vaccine and may be extremely dangerous possibly causing death. No one can follow the science when the science changes so frequently.

        We are living in a time when each person has to take responsibility to protect themselves and their families, only now it seems we must also protect ourselves from the government that we elected. Without my help, I would add. But even so, now I have to live in silence, so as to not be called a name invented by the ideology that’s driving all of this.

        It seems as if “We The People”, has been replaced by a government that believes it can strip the people of their rights and ignore our state and federal constitutions by using medical tyranny as an excuse, with support from the Vermont liberal media.

        This is what our situation seems to be. This should make any free thinking person realize that they have brought this onto themselves by disrespecting America the way it was and should be again. The only revolution that’s needed is for people vote as though they have had enough. The same goes of the way this state is being
        led. If any of you think that these are the good times in Vermont, I can assure you that they are not. What are you going to do about it?

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