Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.
In a recent statement intended to misinform Vermonters and score partisan political points, Speaker of the Vermont House Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) demonstrated just how out of the loop she is with Vermont’s handling of COVID-19. Krowinski’s statement was filled with misleading information, baseless claims, and inherent contradictions that undermine the state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all so she can benefit her own party.
Krowinski attempts to compare Vermont to states implementing limited mask mandates (Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon), even though these states vary wildly from Vermont’s own experience. Calling it a comparison of apples to oranges would be an understatement. Ironically, Krowinski also accuses the Governor of waiting for infections to rise before he acts–she must have forgotten her admission just a few paragraphs later that ‘our case rate is declining’.
Krowinski bemoans the administration for letting school districts choose on mask policy as it relates to COVID-19. Let me be clear: the Governor is right to leave this up to school boards and not mandate it from Montpelier.
However, if Krowinski really wanted to change policy, she should be consulting with the Vermont-NEA, which has not only failed to express calls for such a strategy, but whose President both praised the work of and defended the position of Governor Scott’s administration on COVID-19 earlier this month. Perhaps Krowinski is simply doing the dirty-work for the Vermont-NEA, which would be unsurprising considering the thousands the Vermont-NEA has donated to Democrat politicians’ campaigns in Vermont–including to Krowinski directly.
Finally, Krowinski yet again jumps to a false comparison, referencing the ‘cities’ and ‘towns’ across the country requiring all public education employees to be vaccinated. While it is understandable that Krowinski would apparently be confused since she only represents the City of Burlington, Vermont is a state–not a municipality.
In short, Speaker Krowinski’s latest P.R. stunt is nothing more than a desperate political maneuver to insert partisanship into a conversation about public health and elevate her own profile at the expense of misleading the public on COVID-19 through inaccurate comparisons and omitted information. Krowinski would be better served sticking to what she is good at, like kicking the state’s unfunded pension crisis down the road and skirting state rules so she can fund-raise with lobbyists.