Scott says COVID ‘will be treated much like the flu’ going forward

The Scott administration is continuing to back away from COVID-related urgency, saying that for now life can largely turn back to normal — but officials cautioned that the door remains open for future policy changes.

“We will continue with our public health monitoring and surveillance efforts here in Vermont and remain aware of national and international development regarding new strains, vaccine guidance, and treatments,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said at a press conference Tuesday. “Keep your masks around and hold onto your rapid tests, know that if the situation changes, we will be prepared to change with it.”

He also noted that Vermonters should be polite to one another regarding who continues to wear a mask or not.

“From the youngest to the oldest, each of us has differing reasons for the choices we make, so again, please be accepting,” he said.

Levine continued to urge Vermonters to pay attention to COVID-19 news, and he called vaccines “the most powerful tool that we have” in continuing to fight off the virus.

Scott echoed that sentiment while taking questions from reporters.

“I don’t think we should be afraid of the virus,” Scott said. “… As Dr. Levine mentioned, the most powerful tool is being fully-vaccinated.”

Scott compared the foreseeable future with COVID-19 to like living with the flu.

“I think this is what we should expect for years to come,” he said. “It will be treated much like the flu.”

In March 2020, the administration dismissed comparisons to the flu.

“A half of a percent is still five times the rate that people die from the flu, so it’s still significant,” Levine said. “I don’t think that I would cheer about success at any point in time in the next two months because it’s really everyone doing all of the strategies that we’ve outlined that’s going to help us succeed.”

At today’s press conference, Levine suggested that there is no sure prediction on what will happen going forward.

“No matter who you ask in the world, no matter what authority, you are not going to find someone who can predict the next variant,” he said.

On other subjects, the governor didn’t offer much when a reporter asked him if he will sign legislation that would allow the state to dictate school mascot changes.

“I’ll have to see what it looks like,” he said.

The Rutland City School Board recently voted to change its mascot back to the Raiders, though it may change yet again after more liberal voices were recently added to the board. If bill S.139 were to pass, it would allow the state to forcibly have an individual school’s mascot changed, even if the community felt differently.

Scott also commented on the Clean Heat Standard that is making its way through the Statehouse. Scott warned that he will veto legislation that doesn’t leave big policy decisions with elected officials.

“I’m opposed to having the PUC be the final destination for the decision making, I think it should come back — regardless of how you feel about the clean-heating standard – whatever the PUC does, it needs to come back from there through the legislative process for a final sign-off,” he said.

He noted that the PUC “isn’t really elected, isn’t really beholden to anyone.”

He also reminded reporters that changes in energy policy influence Vermonters’ finances.

“If they take a position that’s going to be counter to the affordability of Vermont, and some of what we’re seeing at that point, then again, we owe it to Vermonters to either vote that up or down,” he said.

Watch the full press conference here.

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

Image courtesy of Phil Scott for Vermont

16 thoughts on “Scott says COVID ‘will be treated much like the flu’ going forward

  1. It actually sounds like he spent some time reading the comments here and at VDC — who knows?
    Maybe he ‘saw the Light’ and God came down and tapped him on the shoulder: We know who you worship by your works. You are participating in the genocide of your People. The fires of Hell await you. Redeem yourself.

    Who knows?
    One can always hope he’s getting right with his God.
    Eugenics is alive and well in Vermont as long as shots are what we fall back on to stay well.
    God gave us EVERYTHING we need to heal ourselves, and maintain our health.
    Its on us whether or not we are see and innerstand this.

  2. It is always a blessing when the right people are in the right place at the right time. We are seeing that now in Ukraine with their President Zelensky and we have seen it in Vermont during the recent pandemic with Governor Scott.

    Being responsible for managing the effects of a hitherto unknown highly contagious virus has been an incredible challenge. We are truly fortunate to have had Governor Scott and his team at the helm during these difficult uncharted times.

    Governor Scott and his team have been open and forthcoming about their strategy and the actions they have taken. While taking hard questions at their weekly press conferences and much criticism from both the left and right, they have worked hard to balance the competing health concerns and needs of the state. Governor Scott resisted calls to keep a “state of emergency” and relied primarily on encouragement and easy access when promoting the use of vaccines. Governor Scott’s calm compassionate and competent approach has been deeply appreciated by the people of Vermont who, in this now heavily Democratic/Progressive state, overwhelmingly re-elected this Republican for a third term.

    • You must be joking.

      And the only reason this “Republican” is getting elected is because there is nothing “Republican” about him.

      • Hear, hear! And that’s why VTDigger contributors have to make the media rounds to defend him.

      • A native Vermonter, son of a wounded veteran who eventually died from injuries sustained on D-Day, past owner of a construction business and one of the best race car drivers in Vermont, Phil Scott is also a life-long Republican.

        You may not agree with him on every position (I have long opposed his support for Act 46, the school consolidation bill) but to say this Governor who has vetoed more legislation than any other governor in Vermont history, has consistently opposed raising taxes, and worked hard to oppose government overreach is not part of a long tradition of Vermont Republican governors is simply wrong.

  3. Well, what happened to the phrase, “Safe and Effective”? After months of real people doing real research the safe and effective phrase has disappeared. The unvaccinated are no longer “the other” and the vaccinated are, “the other”. The government has forced people to inject an unproven serum of unknow ingredients into their bodies through intimidation, shame, scar tactics and ostracizing them. They have forced young children to be injected for political gain regardless of the outcome. Recent revelations in the news suggest that the government paid the mainstream media to push the vaccines and not mention other treatments. This was not the Trump government, it was Joe Biden’s administration. Thankfully to real doctors and researchers the truth is coming out. There will be a reckoning for the people who lied and violated our rights. And notice how now the focus has shifted to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the censorship of Obama and Biden’s coup in 2014 to install their puppet government causing the invasion and the discovery of 25 bioweapon labs operating in the Ukraine with US taxpayer money.

  4. I’m not sure but this Wuhan flu was so devastating and all precautions needed to be
    followed as brought forth by the current Federal administration or else………

    But like Magic, as soon as the current administration poll numbers started to ” Tank ”
    a miracle happened, we are almost back to normal…….. what a coincidence…..sure.

  5. Perhaps emergency powers that impose on the liberties of the people should be stripped from the Governor. The emergency powers regarding suspension of regulations, such as occurred after Tropical Storm Irene, could still stand.

    My reasoning is that such emergency powers invoked to “stay safe” during a medical emergency are easily abused. Are they necessary? Simply inform people of best policies and let the people decide. If some people refuse, then too bad: liberty is messy. But if your mask works, then you’re OK; why insist that others wear masks? If you don’t want to participate in society and want to stay 6′ away, then you’re welcome. One could argue that the Covid regulations were a blatant and unnecessary abuse of power and that the Great Barrington Declaration was the correct path, as no-mask Sweden demonstrated to the world. “Three weeks to flatten the curve” turned into something like two years. This was just plain wrong.

    The counter argument to this is that we had no choice, but we did have a choice. We based our decisions on faulty models that were wildly, wildly exaggerated– on purpose? We should have been a bit more cautious and a bit more critical of these models, but the people who criticized these models were shunted to the sidelines while the news blared on with exaggerated stories about how everyone was dying, with pretty much zero objective investigative reporting by the media (how about those bodies piling up in cemeteries? But they forgot to mention that employees were too scared to bury those Covid bodies or even refused to show up for work. How about the nearly 100% death rate from Covid at Elmhurst hospital in Queens? But that hospital had a policy of venting people as soon as possible, and their procedures were death sentences. Once vented, very few came out alive.)

    We could’ve chosen safe, early treatment for Covid-19. Instead, we had another abuse of power, and this abuse of power was basic to the abuse of governors’ emergency powers: the medical journals, the public health agencies, and the medical societies all ganged up on early treatment through blatantly false information published in trials that used drugs in the wrong patients at the wrong time in the wrong doses and without adjunct therapies. Again, the people who spoke out were shunted to the sidelines. Now these same folks who put out false trials are turning on we, the people, and accusing us of spreading misinformation for calling them out.

    We should never again assume that our liberties are something that can be easily dispensed with whenever some fantastic modeler cries, “Wolf!” And we should never again assume that our medical journals are printing the truth–something that, remarkably, had been said by medical journal editors and other critics for decades before Covid was even known.

  6. If Levine or any of these other idiots (read your personal MD) were really serious about handling the flu, Covid or any other SARS related virus they would be promoting early treatment with known alternatives to the vaccines. It is actually disgusting to read some of these statements.

    The wheels are falling off the cart, however they cannot acknowledge the horrible mistake which they made by forcing an untested drug on the general population.

    The VAIDS effects are just beginning, it will be devastating in the coming months.

    Watch how they phrase it – “Nobody said you had to get the vaccine”.

    When will people wake up?

    • And the money made……….this is a conspiracy; has been right from the get go…….
      so disgusted with those who in power in our state. We know little about what goes on in Montpelier……..I’m stunned on a daily basis. i do not support this type of Gov…….
      I want to see another party, seems too lucrative for those bickering high horses in Vt and Fed level. look at us in just the past year +2 months………its down right scary, and incredibly expensive…..oh my oh my……..and does anyone think its cleaner for the earth to mine for the materials needed for EV Solar Ect, than fossil fuel……..wrong again……
      schools, abortion to full term, elite status for threats, Ukraine, so much more…….never never seen anything like this ……..nor been more ashamed of those making decisions, from the top down to local level……..

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