Gov. Phil Scott on ‘racist’ response to efforts to vaccinate Vermont’s BIPOC population

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 5, 2021

Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement:

“There is no better, safer, or faster way to defeat this virus and revitalize our economy than to make vaccinations available to every Vermonter.

“Since day one of our unprecedented effort to deliver safe and effective coronavirus vaccines, our strategy has been to preserve life. This is why, we — who are charged with the health and safety of Vermonters — have prioritized those at greatest risk of death and hospitalization.

“Vermont’s data currently shows the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) population is at increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19. This is a population of our neighbors already facing health equity disadvantages as a result of historical inequities and injustices.

“In addition to the greater risk of hospitalization among BIPOC community members, the pace of vaccination for these individuals is too far behind the white population. With a rate of 20.2% of the BIPOC population having received at least one dose of vaccine as compared with non-Hispanic Whites (33.4%), we need to do more to close this gap — both as a matter of equity and to help decrease the risk of hospitalizations.

“These disparities are unacceptable to me. To address this, in coordination with the state’s health experts, I opened up vaccine registration to all members of the Vermont BIPOC community 16 years of age and older — as well as members of their household.

“Unfortunately, the legacy of racism in America, and in Vermont, still drives a lot of anger and fear. Recently, my office, the Health Department and those hardworking individuals getting us vaccinated, have been subjected to vitriolic and inappropriate comments in social media and other forums regarding this decision.

“This too is unacceptable. And it is evidence that many Americans, and many Vermonters, still have a lot to learn about the impacts of racism in our country and how it has influenced public policy over the years.

“We understand that these are stressful, uncertain times and people have different ways of dealing with that stress.

“That is no excuse, however, to resort to hateful attacks on fellow Vermonters — especially those comments including racist slurs. We have recently been reminded how words of hatred and bias can lead to terrible results — from the death of George Floyd to the tragic attacks on members of the Asian-American community, to the shocking attack on our nation’s capital.

“Words matter. I encourage everyone to consider the meaning of their words from another person’s point of view, as well as the consequences of how our own words can impact the wellbeing of others. In a time when technology is one of the only ways many can maintain connection, I implore all of us to respect one another.

“And to my fellow Vermonters who find themselves the target of these comments and actions of prejudice, please know that we stand with you. Do not be intimidated by the hate speech. Do not allow these comments of racism to keep you from getting vaccinated or from anything you deserve as members of the Vermont community.”

Visit to sign up and get scheduled for your vaccination against this virus.

Image courtesy of State of Vermont

29 thoughts on “Gov. Phil Scott on ‘racist’ response to efforts to vaccinate Vermont’s BIPOC population

  1. Why are people of color more at risk of coronavirus complications?
    Answer From William F. Marshall, III M.D.
    – emphasis added
    “Research increasingly shows that racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States…While ***there’s no evidence that people of color have genetic or other biological factors that make them more likely to be affected by COVID-19, they are more likely to have underlying health conditions.”***

    Blanketly basing vaccine priority upon skin color or race is racist-period. Classic racism of any and all races is based upon presumptions and prejudices – it makes next to no decisions based upon the individual. Chancellor Scott inadvertantly outed self – while attempting to appear nonracist – there is no escapinjg the facts at this point.

    The grouping according to “The Science” is underlying conditions – not skin color of which disproportionally affect black people. Therefore those who have underlying conditions regardless of race or age should be offered vaccines *if* they choose. Elderly also are also at risk *if* they have underlying conditions.

  2. Phil Scott’s policy of administering the covid 19 vaccine to preferred racial groups ahead of already scheduled age brackets is the ultimate example of affirmative action. It is an affront to all groups involved, especially when considering the potential medical outcomes as a result of postponed treatment.

    Vaccination is voluntary. To remedy any perceived discrepancy between population vaccination percentages it is not government’s prerogative now to choose winners and losers. Perhaps one group just doesn’t trust big government. Study that!

    And how arrogant the governor calls critics of his polices racists when it is he who should be looking in the mirror to witness the lack of content to his character! Is he not calling the kettle black? And the silence of Vermont’s politicians in this regard is deafening. It is a shared failure for sure!

  3. Scott had hopped on the racism and systemic racism train long ago. His views have helped expand and cement the division and rhetoric in Vermont. His comments regarding the vaccination policy only further that division.
    That said, prioritizing groups for vaccination might just be the smart policy, obviously. He is working his way down the list with the most affected groups. Black Americans have a higher risk, so getting access to vaccinations makes sense. the reason Black Americans have a higher risk is irrelevant to the issue of getting them vaccinated, for now.
    Where Scott continues to drop the ball, is to cast blame for the racism and systemic racism issue on white society. He need not look much farther than federal and state government programs to “fix” the problem, as the very thing that perpetuates the problem. The soft bigotry of low expectations? Might Scott be perpetuating that concept as well? Best not to loose sight of the goal, Governor. The goal as you stated it was increasing vaccination rates for Vermont’s “BIPOC” population. Get that job done, first- no dog whistles or race baiting required.

  4. So race-based policy decisions that favor one racial group over another promotes equality? Wow, George Orwell couldn’t have said it better.


  5. Here’s an article for government intelligentsia to read. I doubt that they read anything other than talking points, but I can hope.

    Locking us away from the virus is exactly what decimated the native American population from European diseases when they arrive on the shores of other countries or islands. They had no immunities from exposure to the new to them diseases. Americans have built immunities to certain diseases by being exposed to them for centuries. We can’t run from these infections because they are always present. The article above demonstrates in reality why we must not be locked down for our health because it is that action that will kill us off. But what do I know, I’m not a government pol.

  6. One of the technological advances I appreciate is headphones in which I can listen to the radio and books while I work outside. Today will be boiling the last of the sap from the frog run, pulling buckets, and planting peas. I appreciate while I work being able to listen to books and music, as well as keeping up on what is going on in the wider world.

    While I realize Governor Scott is not the conservative many on this site would prefer (and I have issues with some of his actions including with his support of Act 46), being able to listen over the past year to his weekly press briefings have increased my appreciation of him as a fundamentally decent Vermonter striving to manage a pandemic full of uncertainties. He is also a much needed bulwark against the more extreme Democratically controlled legislature.

    It looks now that the end of the pandemic and restrictions are in sight. There will be time after this is over for reflection and comparison with methods used by other states and countries in handling this pandemic. We will be able to both learn lessons for the next time,( and unfortunately there will be a next time), a pandemic arises and to evaluate how well the approach taken by Governor Scott worked or did not.

    • Phil is just as extreme as his leftist friends in the assembly. His governorship is s dream come true for Democrats. He is a bastion against common sense, liberty and constitutional governance.

  7. Phil Scott thinks he is above the law. He is in clear violation of Title V1 of the Civil Rights ACT of 1964 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He is either ignorant or just thinks he is a king or both.

    Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As President John F. Kennedy said in 1963:
    Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.
    If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action. Aggrieved individuals may file administrative complaints with the federal agency that provides funds to a recipient, or the individuals may file suit for appropriate relief in federal court. Title VI itself prohibits intentional
    discrimination. However, most funding agencies have regulations implementing Title VI that prohibit recipient practices that have the effect of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

  8. The crutch of racism does not well support your blatant disregard for the Liberty of your presumed subjects!

  9. So ole flip flop Scotty has not allowed Blacks, Native American Indians, Asians to have the vaccine?????

    BUT now he is going to allow all people of color to be allowed to get the vaccine.. WOW, how big of him… Should he get a medal??

    I’m Irish and Native American Indian does this make me qualified ???

    But guess what I will NOT get the vaccine. My life My choice NOT yours RINO !!
    Stick it where the sun doesn’t shine buddy…

  10. Anybody can be deemed “recalcitrant white supremacists ” if anyone in power says you are—. Priests and etc watch out. I suspect the commenters to TNR can be so evaluated. Shut down discourse, FB, Google, Amazon and Twitter has. Bring MLB All Star game to VT, the politicians here would like it and MLB has a groovy place.

    This is reversing the basis of the Jim Crow Laws. Skin color dictates priorities. What happens to other skin colors: Red, Yellow, albino, tan, where in the scheme does white stand? Government is suppose to be color blind. A rainbow consists of many color to be one. Not in VT. I don’t know any state that discriminates on skin color as to who gets vaccinated (if they so wish). It’s made national headlines. VT is of the Flat Earth Society.;

    Wish people in government were camouflaged skinned so you’d know who they are. They disappear when the light hits them like a celebrated bug.

  11. The only idiotic moves and hate speech have come from the office of the idiot in charge

    If only Vermont could elect a real Republican governor like Ron DeSantis we would stand a chance in our state which is slowly going down the drain

    Phil Scott doesn’t have a clue what the hell he is doing…

    That is unless it’s intentions are to completely destroy our beautiful state

    Phil Scott

    • Richard I wish it were possible but I’m afraid that window has closed tightly. Even so-called Republicans prefer a RINO.

    • You got that right Richard, but you forgot that oh Philly can’t do anything unless the socialists democRATS legislators are pulling his strings.

      Scott is one of those who can’t climb stairs and chew gum at the same time without falling down the stairs.

    • It’s called ‘white,’ but as I look at my hands, I’d say it was more like ‘Heart of Oak.’ Does that make me a POC?

    • FYI: Black = all colors…white is absence of color…howevah…most ppl are either peach-toned = warm or pink-toned = cool unless anemic like me which is chalk-white lol tymltk 😀

  12. I will not get vaccinated until every last BIPOC has gotten vaccines! It is my patriotic duty as a white male American

  13. Phil Scott opines:
    “This too is unacceptable. And it is evidence that many Americans, and many Vermonters, still have a lot to learn about the impacts of racism in our country and how it has influenced public policy over the years…”

    Phil Scott goes on to say:
    ‘…And therefore today I am issuing an edict that all Vermont State Troopers will begin rounding up all recalcitrant white supremacists and have them deported to various re-education camps throughout the state of Vermont. Upon completion of said re-education along with written letters of apology and forgiveness, individuals will be released back into society and with demonstrable signs of good behavior after six months, will have their ankle bracelets removed and be allowed to move about society more freely, with annual followups to commence.’

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