Gov. Scott on defensive over continued state of emergency despite low COVID numbers

At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott met repeated questioning on why he is keeping Vermont under a state of emergency even as his health commissioner confirms that the state is not having a COVID-19 crisis.

The Green Mountain State has had two deaths from COVID-19 over the past month, and 58 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those coronavirus victims, just 13 were patients under the age of 70. The state has only three hospitalizations.

At his regularly scheduled media briefing, Scott was asked what conditions he is waiting for to lift the state of emergency and allow Vermonters to get back to living and working as normal.

ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott provides an update on Vermont’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

“You know we’re so mobile in this country, and truly as a region, meaning this is migrating towards us. That’s why I took some of the action I did about three or four weeks ago,” he said. “So I don’t know, again, when the right time is, but I can tell you it’s while the virus is heading towards us, that is not the right time to release.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of deaths compared to the number of confirmed cases in the United States is 3.1 percent. Eight out of 10 of those victims are over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scott said he pays attention to death counts and total cases.

“I watch the death rates as well,” he said. “Again 32,000 [deaths] in New York alone. Certainly even our neighbors to our east in New Hampshire have over 400 deaths. Every death is meaningful, and the 58 in Vermont is something that I think about every day. I don’t want there to be 59, I don’t want there to be 60, and I’m sure you don’t want a family member to be one of those numbers either.”

Scott was asked what percentage of deaths in those nearby states involved other severe illnesses, but he said he couldn’t comment on that.

Comorbidities are underlying health problems that contribute to the death of a patient. For example, according to the National Health Service in England, over 95 percent of COVID deaths recorded in England and Wales had potentially serious comorbidities.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, who also attends the regular press conferences, said Vermont is leading the nation in favorable COVID-19 statistics.

“So the last week, Vermont was indeed noted to being the state with both the lowest number of new cases per 100,000 — eight as compared with the national average of 112 — and the lowest percent positivity rate, which remains as you can see well below 1 percent.”

He also noted that Vermont’s cases in the state are mostly clustered together — 62.4 percent of the new cases are crowded into three counties.

When another reporter pressed the governor about his new extension of the state of emergency, Scott would not commit to a specific time table or checkpoint that would have him end the emergency status.

“I’m not ready to commit to that at this point,” he said. “I just don’t know. We’ll have to maintain and watch this virus and see where it brings us. There are other approaches — there could be a point in time when we could cease the executive order and do something, legislative action for instance.”

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

Image courtesy of ORCA Media

33 thoughts on “Gov. Scott on defensive over continued state of emergency despite low COVID numbers

  1. If nurses and doctors are performing line dance routines on Tik-Tok, video from Wuhan shows a party night club full of dancing young people, Florida and other states are open and doing well, homeless people are not wiped out, masks proven not to prevent contracting virus (says right on the box), I guess the Truth is right before our lying eyes? We spent thousands of dollars for mass casualty preparedness…remember all those drills and assurances that medical and emergency staff were prepared and ready for anything! Well, Wu-flu hits and no preparedness, no capacity readiness, no supplies….someone got rich off that deal and this bio-weapon has transferred more wealth to those who had more than enough. Criminal

  2. Scott was bailed out by Trump and the Fed. Without that generous aid, his cruel little social experiment with the Doctors blessing, would have provoked the mob mentality and failed miserably.

    • Great question for the pediatrician turned Covid expert, Levine. If this virus has never been isolated, how did they create a vaccine? Dont hold your breath.

  3. Science doesn’t matter. The restrictions and the mask mandates aren’t to keep you safe. They are used to be constant reminders that there is an invisible enemy you need to be afraid of.

    The ventilators are to Covid what AZT was to AIDS.

  4. They have gotten everyone terrified out of their minds, which is part of the problem, to Gov. Scott’s credit and Vermont, we’re probably one of the few counting covid deaths correctly.

    See it’s not based on science, it’s not based on numbers, because we’re not making decisions from that, we do have our finger in the air, checking the political winds daily.

    Great Article.

    Perhaps we could ask Scott and his team about the inhaled steroid, Budesonide, which is given to premies to 90+ year olds for breathing problems and according to a Doctor in Texas gives immediate relief within 12-24 hours to covid patients and cures them in days.

    Gov. Noem, from S.D seems to have nailed this whole covid thing, kept business open and infections down, might be a good model for this winter and fall with vacation traffic?

    Suddenly across the United States on November…say 7th, the doctors will be discovering, the virus doesn’t seem as strong as in the past, it’s becoming weaker…..wait and see.

    • “They have everyone terrified out of their minds, “which is part of the “problem”
      Or is it part of the PLAN !!
      We are scared, pushed around, shamed, out of work, children not in school much of the time,
      relying on welfare far more than previous.
      Churches locked tight for a year continuing in Christmas, No funerals for any deaths.
      Do not travel, do not visit outside your own clan.
      Paid for Riots, Looting, arsons for months now. Public shaming.
      Masks make a perfect indication of submission- maybe with some health pluses – and minuses.

  5. I wish the complainers about Gov. Scott’s virus policies would be quiet and pay attention. Have any of you noticed that Vermont is in far better shape virus wise than every state in the Union? All the other states have let the folks in their states run free, and guess what? Their in a mess. Governor keep up the good work. Absolutely no reason whatever for you to be defensive about your leadership on this issue.

    • WHY on earth do you cower in fear of a virus with a 98.8% recovery rate that kills people largely in nursing homes? The average age of people dying is age 80, in some states it’s even higher. WHY do you put your own personal fears of dying onto other people?

      YOUR state is depopulating and you have a budget shortfall of over 400 million dollars and the people running your state are maniacs, and you don’t see this as being a mess?
      I mean gimme a break, Vermont, that saddled the entire nation with Bernie Sanders is one of the biggest messes in the whole country- and you don’t see that? YOU are part of the problem and not the solution.

      You seem to know very little about virus and the human body (if this is in fact even a virus, there are doctors now thinking it’s more of a parasitic infection closer related to malaria).

      Stop allowing your fear to destroy my Rights, Freedom and Success. We have a Constitutional Right to pursue our happiness and the AG said the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis- so why has it been then? Because of people like you maybe?
      I have kids right now, do you have any idea how much scared people have destroyed their future!
      People are commiting suicide right now and overdosing on drugs.. this fake virus scam is the last thing you should be worried about. You should be worried about how living among people in despair is going to effect you- like when they rob your house and there are no police there because they got defunded!!
      If YOU are scared, then stay home and wrap yourself in bubble wrap, the rest of us would like to not starve to death because our lives have been destroyed.

      • Perfectly stated, I think Mike gets a troll check from the Governor for supporting him. I am ashamed to see people so afraid that they think the virus or whatever is in the open air. This is close to an idiot apocalypse. Which is worse the all encompassing crippling fear of catching this bug, dieing of your own exhaust the government makes you breathe from a staff infection or from the ruination of your life from being unable to support yourself and family. What a great way to live! 2010 Swine flu, 60 million Americans infected, no lock down. Obama was president and the press treated him like a God.

        CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.** Globally, 80 percent of (H1N1)pdm09 virus-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in people younger than 65 years of age. This differs greatly from typical seasonal influenza epidemics, during which about 70 percent to 90 percent of deaths are estimated to occur in people 65 years and older. Compare that to today.

        • These irrationally scared people are a national security threat.
          Good Grief, think of how we appear as a nation of people to the Chinese, the Russians, Iran, North Korea. You can sure as heck bet they are watching and taking notes. They now know all they need to do is take our toilet paper.
          I have never seen such a bunch of selfish people in all my life.
          Do they think this country runs magically with no one at work?

          This entire thing is nothing but a giant scam to justify mail-in ballots and to set back the Trump economy. It’s about the Debt Bubble bursting and the need for a reset. This is about Politics, Corruption,Democrats and RINOs.

    • The numbers in VT are in spite of him because of how we live lots of outdoors and not giant apartment buildings like in cities. Wake up.

    • On the contrary, the six US states that did not lock down—Arkansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska—all rank in the lower half of US states in percentage of deaths compared to population (which is a far more telling number than infections, since most infections are asymptomatic). So Vermont’s low death rate–still below that of a typical flu year–cannot be attributed to the shutdowns, since there is no way to draw a direct line of causation.

      Vermont has fared better because 1) rural states in general have tended to fare better, and 2) we seem to be counting deaths more honestly than other states despite the broad and hazy CDC coding guidelines, which allow deceased patients to be declared Covid deaths even without a confirmed test. “Presumption” is enough, according to the CDC.

    • Like other socialists, “Mike” refuses to acknowledge factual refutations, continues to lie and push the totalitarian agenda.

    • Nice try to use the term “virus policy”, innocuously. Policy without uncensored debate and challenge is actually tyranny. The REAL scientific data simply does not support masks or vaccines let alone the pure evil of locking down a free Nation.

  6. Show me the facts & data and I’ll make my own decision. I’m old, so according
    to what I have read, I’m in the high risk category…..

    I have carried a mask since day one and use it, when” I ” feel need be, I distance
    myself and use handsanitizer again as need be…… All My choices and I don’t
    live in a bubble I’m out and about almost every day.

    It appears that the Governor and other don’t have a clue about the Wuhan Virus
    and other just don’ t care, I see it every day “No ” common sense wait until this
    fall flu season and school in full swing………………..

    I am not a fan of the Governor, and it appears he is listening to the liberal left
    again ” No ” real facts just talking points, no one really knows so until we get a
    handle on how combat this virus as we may never get a vaccine, I’ll do what I
    need to do !!

    All we need is facts & data to make our choices, we take chances every day some
    good & some bad…………. My Choice !!

  7. He will NEVER release the state of emergency, When he says “I don’t know”, “he couldn’t comment on that”,“I’m not ready to commit to that at this point,” “I just don’t know.” hemost of all the Fred says this because the legislation haven’t told him what to say except to continue the state of emergency. Even tho the state is better then CA, NY.FLA,and some other states.. The friggin greedy legislators like POWER, CONTROL and most of all that Federal MONEY !!!

    • I believed this scamdemic for all of zero minutes back in March, and predicted once the masses were fooled and complied, there would be no return to normal. The new normal is unacceptable and should be resisted with defiance and civil revolt. Choose now to bow to these weaklings in Vt or to the totalitarian Communists Liberals who have stolen the election.

  8. Vermont doesn’t have a problem. The problem Vermont has is the usual one, Chittenden County.
    25% of the state’s population, half the state’s Covid cases, and 67% of the state’s Covid deaths.
    If the Governor and all the wizards in Montpelier want to institute the mandatory masks and controls, do it in the county with problem. Let the rest of us make our own decisions and get back to a bit of regularity.

    • Unfortunately, as Chittenden County wants, so the rest of Vermont must endure.
      Events have spun out of control nationwide, in apparently a push to defeat Trump.
      Scott has very little choice on his “Emergency Order” as it functions as a trigger for federal assistance and were it lifted the political pressure would all but assure his defeat Nov. 3rd.
      His “Mask Mandate” can only be seen as satisfying a demographic and eliminating a campaign issue. As to the long-term economic damage being inflicted upon the Vermont economy, it will take years to dig out from under- with thousands departing for other states. Hold on tight, it’ll be a wild ride to November 3rd.

  9. For God’s sake, just let people decide for themselves how they want to handle this. “Every death is meaningful.” So does this means we ban swimming, driving over 40 mph, and serving alcohol in restaurants and bars so we can make life completely safe and save every last life?

    Life is full of risks.

    Governor Scott is a petty tyrant.

    • Power, like fire, can be either a useful servant, or a fearful master.

      Difficult to obtain, it’s relinquished reluctantly.

  10. There have been 38 deaths due to automobile crashes in Vermont to date this year (2 x as many at this point last year) at this rate ~ 4.75/month they might almost exceed the COVID deaths. Should we be worried automobile travel is about to be banned?

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