Brian Allen: Gov. Phil Scott needs to present facts and data, not gin up panic

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Brian Allen, of Arlington. He is an art historian and the art critic for National Review.

When I voted for Phil Scott twice, I expected him to be the jobs governor and the small business governor, not the biggest killer of jobs and small business in the history of Vermont. Having tossed nearly 90,000 people out of work through poor judgment, he continues to peddle fear, not facts. He also has no endgame.

“States right on our borders and just a few hours away are still confronting massive outbreaks and it only takes one spark, or one unhelpful decision, to reignite this fire,” Scott said last week in a statement. What fire? Vermont has never had more than 35 COVID-19 hospitalizations at any one time. There are nearly 900 hospital beds in Vermont and eight current COVID-19 hospitalizations. About half of the state’s 831 confirmed infections are in Burlington and a handful of neighboring towns.

“We all need … to preserve our hard-earned gains,” Scott said. What he means is “we have to go further out on this crazy limb.”

Michael Bielawski/TNR

Gov. Phil Scott now regularly wears a mask to help prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Governor Scott’s models on deaths, hospitalizations, ventilators and ICU needs have been wrong by many multiples, from the beginning. He got bad advice and took it, demolishing the economy. His experts are mostly from academia and aren’t practical people. He’s ignored a bounty of scientific and medical opinion that conflicts with theirs.

Why are studies from Stanford and Oxford showing extreme lockdowns are not useful wrong? What about emergency room doctors and working infectious disease doctors who say you’re on the wrong track? Why are they wrong?

A far less reckless and extreme approach would have produced the same results. Why do I say this? I look at the dozen states that didn’t gut their economies, employment base and tax base, and they’ve done as well as Vermont.

What is his endgame? Eradicate COVID-19? That won’t happen, in part because we can’t keep the economy comatose. An economic pulse happens when people do business, together, usually in person. Maybe the governor’s rich friends can Zoom all day but most workers can’t.

Will he acknowledge that almost all COVID-19 infections cause no ill effects? In view of this, he needs to justify his one-size-fits-all scheme. Why is Arlington, with no COVID-19 cases, treated the same as Burlington and its suburbs, with hundreds?

Governor Scott needs to level with people rather than frighten them or mislead them into thinking COVID-19 will disappear. It’s with us. It’s a new fact of life. There may be a vaccine, though there is no vaccine for any coronavirus. The common cold is a type of coronavirus.

Governor Scott needs to show leadership in telling people this truth.

Covid-19 presents almost no risk to healthy young people. The governor needs to say that over and over. They need to get back to a normal life and not a life of unwarranted, ginned-up fear. The schools should reopen since there is no danger to children. Where is his data showing risk to kids?

Workers under 60 with no health problems should return to work, too. If they have health problems, we need to accommodate them, but we can’t keep healthy adults from their livelihoods. That’s an abuse of power.

We know far more now than we knew six weeks ago. Governor Scott needs to communicate that this isn’t the bubonic plague, for instance. He needs to explain the consequences and costs of his extreme steps. He did the public a grave injustice by not itemizing these when he dragged us on this most unexcellent adventure.

The governor needs to explain why a small bakery or restaurant, observing good hygiene standards, can’t open. Aside from “we must be afraid,” what’s the specific health risk, documented by data? Are there any cases of COVID-19 infection coming from a restaurant visit?

What’s the data on opioid abuse increases, calls to the police for child and spousal abuse, and suicide in the last six weeks? What’s the projected budget deficit for next year?

Many multiples more than 50 Vermonters will die or become very ill because of deferred medical care since Governor Scott irresponsibly closed hospitals and doctor’s offices to anything but COVID-19 illness. Cancer screenings, heart health, cancer treatments, children’s check-ups, and vaccinations weren’t happening for almost two months.

The governor needs to encourage people to get this care rather than talk about disaster around the corner.

COVID-19 is a New York metropolitan area problem, with 50% of the country’s deaths. Over 60% of COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts are nursing home and elderly congregate housing residents. Vermont isn’t New York City or Boston. The demographics, hygiene, health care and living conditions are entirely different. Of course, New York is the worst run city in the country.

The governor needs to explain all of this rather than scare people into thinking the scenes we see on TV unfolding in Queens are remotely possible here. It’s possible I’ll get hit by a meteorite tomorrow, but I can’t plan my life around that possibility.

“They’re nearby” is another of Governor Scott’s scare tactics. So are New Hampshire, Maine, and northern Berkshire and Franklin Counties in Massachusetts, and a dozen rural New York counties, with little COVID-19 incidence.

And I’d like to know this, Governor Scott: What is your plan to clean up the mess you and your team have created?

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

26 thoughts on “Brian Allen: Gov. Phil Scott needs to present facts and data, not gin up panic

  1. That stakes are high for the next election a vast understatement. We also need to level with ourselves as a state and nation. We need leaders in our state that are not NWO UN globalist tools namely one affectionately referred to as Comrade Phil most of all.

    Most vulnerable and all who choose are free to to self-quarantine from any real or perceived risk. Those who wish to be sure that they don’t catch anything are free to pull the covers over head and stay home where they won’t get hurt. Leave the rest of us alone to rebuild and go on with our lives. And no Benedict Scott *has not* done a great job or acted quickly. If he cared about our state he would have quarantined Chittenden County not the entire state. He has destroyed our state and tho we cannot file bankruptcy as a state at this point – McConnell is open to the idea as opposed to a bailout.

    We *can* wake up and see what’s really going on and that as the author of this thread outlines – Plandemic is not going away.

    We need to move forward to bring our state and nation back from the brink and elect someone who cares about VT as governor and other conservatives. If we do not get behind Donald Trump our nation will be divided alright between China and Russia:
    China’s Secret Speech: A Pandemic Plan to Murder 200 million Americans
    Updated: Apr 28
    “In light of the coronavirus crisis, author, columnist and national security expert J.R. Nyquist recently republished a secret speech given by Chinese general Chi Haotian somewhere around 2002 — the exact date isn’t known — to senior members of the Chinese Communist Party. In the speech, Chi describes how China’s population growth cannot be contained within the borders of China. This, and nationalistic themes eerily reminiscent of Hitler, is used to justify China’s intended takeover of America, where Americans will be given a choice: leave or die.”
    Full speech:

  2. Interesting the government leaders didn’t have the common sense to question what is happening and not listen to the powers that is pushing this. This is an experiment to circumvent the Constitution and Bill of Rights, just look at what’s happening. If there were level heads in government, extremes of what is going on wouldn’t happen, ref the Governor of SD as many herein have mentioned. This is a world wide vaccination program, Bill Gates is putting 10 Billion into it within 10 years. I have the Bill Gates Foundation site that mentions this. Google it. Have to take back out country.

    Here’s a site that raises eyebrows.

    Why did Cuomo of NY force sick people into nursing homes? Get rid of the elderly and those that have health problems? Something is going on.

  3. “Brian Allen: Gov. Phil Scott needs to present facts and data, not gin up panic”

    Here is Joe Biden stating several FACTS AND DATA, that turned out to be lies, about:

    1) His very high IQ, and
    2) Graduating in the top half of the class, and
    3) Having THREE degrees, and
    4) A full scholarship.

    Please watch the video. It is totally astounding.
    Watch Biden making idiotic statements, and now running for President for the third time?

    Dem/Progs and the hand-maiden Media love the big-mouth, bragging, grandstander.

    • Biden was a legend in his own mind, when he had one. I don’t know what his medical/mental problem is and to be frank I don’t really care. What I do care about is D’s using a mentally disturbed man as a potential candidate, not to mention anything of his tendencies to hug,
      squeeze or even molest women .

  4. Let’s take a broader look at the issue rather than look at the hole in the doughnut. Neighboring states, ever noticed, one is the epicenter of this entire mess. I believe if I’m not mistaken is a place known from the very beginning of the Republic as NEW YORK. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that state, I suggest you check out our western boarder. Then if one has time, an every one has plenty of that now-a-days, I suggest you check our southern boarder, a place called Massachusetts. Last I heard the place has some very serious issues with an illness I’m told is a thing known internationally as Covid-19. Anyone ever heard of it? Personally, I prefer that Vermont get ahead of this mess rather than sit back and watch the cows come home. If we’ve been overly cautious, we can always back off a bit. Far better then chasing a bunch of horses once they get out of the barn. I’m with the Governor!!!

    • I would agree with you that we should be scared of the virus coming from the two most infested places in the country. Shouldn’t the best method be to shut the borders to these states instead of treating Vermonters as the carriers when the out of state people are. Close the borders and keep us safe. This has not been done.

    • Of course you’re with the Scott. You support ignoring the Constitutions unless it benefits your agenda.

  5. It’s very sad that the people here say that they voted for Scott twice because they didn’t realize his leftist leanings and his lead from fear approach.
    It reminds me of a certain self-proclaimed conservative gubernatorial candidate who voted for Obama twice because he was duped. After Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, trying to explode energy costs to make renewables priced comparably, and stating he wanted redistribution of wealth how can anyone living outside a cave be duped?
    Same with Scott: After asking the legislation to bring new gun restrictions, wasting taxpayers money on EV charging stations, looking for the state to force individuals to have health insurance, supporting Act 46, and bribing people to move here, were you really duped?
    There is one candidate in the race who has never had a hidden agenda or strayed from his conservative values. His name is Kevin Hoyt and if you don’t check to see who he is and what he stands for then you will be duped again.

    • We have a much bigger problem than who is going to be our Governor. In one sense it doesn’t matter, although we know it does.

      If there is a supermajority, there is little a governor can do. Historically any Governor who was not well spoken enough to understand the Vermont playing field and “only” spoke terms that appealed to the true base of the Republican party was and probably will be decimated at the polls in a general election.

      To Scott’s credit, he knows this. Of course he also clearly doesn’t understand our Constitution and it’s significance. He’ll throw out some chum for the left by saying something stupid about our president, knowing full well this we be his ace up the sleeve come general election.

      We as Vermonters, conservative, are always playing defense to the NWO wing of the Democratic Party. The NWO sets the agenda for our state, they Frame every conversation. They pigeon hole our whole party to respond in a fashion that makes us look dumb every year and people (uninformed) vote democrat every time.

      Is their a banner upon which Republicans and all Vermonters can get behind? Nope. There is no support within the party for each other. We can’t agree on anything. It’s so sad to see.

      We could expose all the lies, have a great time, win votes and hearts of the public, but I’ll be damned if anyone is willing to change a fraction of an inch or cooperate, and there are really talented people all across the party and within the current party.

      My hunch, it will be Scott as Governor and Ashe as Lt. Governor. If Bernie does a bunch of campaign support we could get Zuckerman. That’s a real possibility.

      There are much better choices, much better candidates. Just having a person with enough wisdom to veto stupid bills in both positions would be wonderful and many, many Vermonters could carry that torch.

      We need to rebuild our government and political systems, just like our school systems. They no longer are functional. We have very good people in the systems, but until we change, we’ll never see change. We have to change first.

      • I agree with you Neil for the most part. But just imagine having a governor who endorses and supports candidates and who stands up for conservative values and tells people why he believes in them. That’s a major advantage for us.

    • Hoyt is unelectable. And shows few if any signs of running a serious campaign. It is a distraction employed by those who don’t want John Klar – end result being Comrade Scott unless there’s a dark horse waiting in the wings which would most assuredly be more of the same – lite.

      • Stardust, There could be a position in VT Government for such a person as Mr. Hoyt. He does have positive conservative mentality and expressed opinions that could with associated people could be a great benefit for the people of the state.I like his attitude, whether it’s ready for prime time is another Q. Government exposure is a learning curve.

        But government exposure didn’t work for those dem/progs in power. Simpletons let power go to their heads, without any thought, common sense, concern for their electorate. Ben 20+ years of that.

  6. Governor Scott must be coming under tremendous pressure to go along with the program, and let’s face it he has to take advice from medical professionals and that would mean the Vermont Department of Health. Unfortunately the Vermont Department of Health is fear-mongering this, as is nearly every health professional out there. But here are the facts:

    1. The infection fatality rate for this disease is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.2%. Maybe more, maybe less, but such an IFR is in-line with a bad flu.
    2. The disease leaves the majority of victims with mild symptoms or no symptoms.
    3. Children are largely spared, which is why Sweden left grade schools open.
    4. Like any of the respiratory viruses that kill 2.7 million people each year, this disease takes the frail and the elderly.

    OK, let’s square the above facts with other facts.
    A. Hospitals are overwhelmed with sick Covid patients.
    B. The death rate in NYC is way beyond the 0.2% “bad flu IFR. According to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, NYC’s case fatality rate (as opposed to IFR) is about 10%. Therefore this is a serious disease that warrants lockdown.

    But “A” above is false: hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with Covid patients. It didn’t happen. Just yesterday we heard on NPR that of all the emergency beds thrown up all over the country, most were never used. Hospitals right now are bleeding money because they have far fewer patients than normal. Yet we were told that even with lockdown, we’re going to get a surge and we’re going to be overwhelmed and we need to flatten the curve. Didn’t happen.

    “B” above is harder to reconcile with 1-4, but it makes no sense that Japan, with a population orders of magnitude greater than NYC’s, has about 600 Covid deaths while NYC has about 16,000, and Japan was relatively late to shut down. NYC is also a black hole: we don’t really know what’s going on there. Videos have been up that suggest that NYC is spin-central for fear mongering. We’ve also heard stories like: morgues are being overrun. But interestingly, in a country where we (supposedly) have a free and objective press, what we didn’t hear was that cemeteries were short-handed because of Covid fears or had even closed (in Sweden, for example, we heard of bodies stored in rinks, but what we didn’t hear is that half of the cemeteries had closed so that they couldn’t even handle normal burials.)

    It appears that the facts are being spun so that we believe facts A and B above are true, and they’re being spun so that we ignore facts 1-4 above. All of the fear-mongering cascades so that everything seems worse than it is. For a while there things were even “so bad” that we couldn’t get toilet paper. Imagine that.

    • The left lives by the motto Don’t let the facts get in the way. Caution is always a good approach, sheer panic and over-reaction is another. There was a study done in Israel that showed that regardless of mandatory restrictions or not the results are very similar. The only difference is the economic results.

    • It’s also politically astute, I think people under estimate his political wisdom, the ability to win elections is different than being a great leader.

      He has nothing to lose, he’s got everything to gain and it’s safe.

      All of what you say is true and even more, but the vast majority of people don’t know what you know because of propaganda.

      To manage complex change in our state, which we desperately need, we have to have the following:

      Action Plan.

      Currently Vermont conservatives do not have vision that appeals to the majority.
      We don’t have Resources
      We don’t have an action plan.

      It’s safe to say there will be no massive change in Vermont. There are many people, wallets full of cash waiting for it all to come together. People will know it when they see it. Nobody has pulled it all together yet.

  7. Scott moved fast to prevent the virus from spreading.

    That was successful, except in the more-densely populated Burlington area, with an international airport.

    Most of the cases are in the Burlington area, which should continue with most restrictions.

    Elsewhere in the state, restrictions could be eased.

    If Scott were to ease restrictions too fast, the Dem/Progs, and their hand-maiden Media, would jump all over him and cry “mismanagement and murderer”.

    Also, flatlander “visitors”, escaping from NY, MA, CT, NJ, carry much needed money and the virus.

    Towns with a lot of such visitors need to stay alert regarding any new cases.

    Dem/Progs would never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Mail-in voting is on their national platform, NO MATTER WHAT.

    Mr. Condos has been scare-mongering and agitating for mail-in ballots,
    “We have got to do this, and that, and do it NOW.”

    Holcombe and Zuckerman are chiming in with the scare-mongering as well.

    They are oh so concerned about health and safety, and the Republicans are not?

    Condos, please use some common sense:

    If people have been going to grocery stores ALL OVER THE STATE (even in Burlington), etc., in APRIL and MAY, they can physically show up to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES, and then vote in NOVEMBER; that approach would lead to minimal fraud.

    If China can build a 1000-bed hospital in 2 weeks, you will have plenty of time to set up infrastructures and print ballots for a vote in NOVEMBER.

    Stop the fake handwringing and prevaricating

    If the virus episode has not subsided by November, FREE MASKS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AT THE POLLING STATIONS.

    Only authorized/official people (not candidates, etc.) should hand them out

    • You assume there is no agenda behind vote by mail, when that’s the whole reason to have vote by mail, to enable election fraud.

      Otherwise there are millions of ways to keep people safe, just like you point out. I mean everybody touches the same credit card machine at check out, yeah putting saran wrap on it makes no sense either because everybody touches that too.

      The NWO wing of the democratic party wants this. Can’t have new world order if you can’t control who goes into office. The nwo is not about people being self governed.

  8. Some of us smelled rat in his very first attempt at the Governor’s race, 2016. The first important indicator of problems with this guy, was his reluctance to put forth any plan for governance at the time of announcement.
    I only have voted for Scott once, and that was to keep a D/P from success.

    What more proof do we need?
    Klar’s what Vermont needs, without question.

  9. Governor (?) Phil Scott has become one of the “Sheeple”. He is being led, by his nose ring, around in circles by the Progressive/Democrat majority and by Liberals crying the blues. Phil Scott is NOT a leader, rather he is a follower.
    Just as he overreacted when he became “concerned” following the failed Fair Haven High School incident so has he failed in dealing with COVID-19 by caving to the fear mongering and phony information.
    Thank You Gov. Scott for destroying what remained of Vermont’s economy as well as the lives of so many Vermonters.

  10. I was disappointed with the Governor when he went back on his word, then he has the gall to criticize president Trump,Trump has kept the largest majority of what he promised to do, unlike Mr. Scott the self proven Liar.

    • I too voted for Scott twice, he was a skilled man and a sucessful businessman.

      He came under the same kind of “Doctor Cabal” that got hold of Trump – both of them powerless to know how to push back on what now seems like an unstated agenda to weaken Vt and The USA, by weakening our Constitutions, pushing their agenda to control the Presidents and the Governors, and in turn convincing the citizens that the” sky is falling”, and we must give up everything in order to survive.

      Every ‘computer thing” vastly overstated the actual result – goals reached!! We DID Surrender!!

  11. Scott is weak and realizes he will not win another State wide election. The liberals in the Legislature and the left wing administrators have him wrapped up in a knot-i.e. His reaction to the “alleged” school shooter plot of a couple of years ago-ridiculous, ineffective gun legislation.

    • You stated the very reasons he just may win again. The progressives vote and they realize they have the puppet they need to continue their march towards the left.

  12. I agree with Wayne. Any good leader would know all the FACTS and not just rely on the leftist hysteria! I am very disappointed with our Governor and he shows very poor leadership. It seems he is allowing himself to be manipulated, like so many other politicians who are bullied, coerced, or perhaps threatened.

  13. The evidence suggests that Governor Scott gets his marching orders from the Progressives who want desperately to destroy the economy so President Trump can be defeated. Don’t be deceived by his “safety first” propaganda, there is an insidious ulterior motive in play here.

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