Vermont faces the possibility that thousands of COVID vaccine doses may go to waste as demand dwindles, the state’s congressional delegation supports an infrastructure bill that includes huge social service expansions, and old tweets resurfaced again in the Burlington City Council race.
Vaccines could go to waste
As demand for vaccinations begins to stall with roughly half the nation taking the shots and half choosing not to, large batches of shots could go unused in Vermont. The Vermont Department of Health reports more than 70,000 doses may soon expire. Officials say they are working to move them around to other states where there may be more demand.
At his weekly press conference, Gov. Phil Scott pleaded with Vermonters to take more shots, stating that “several parts of the country with low vaccination rates have seen a dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations.” Nationally, the U.S. has expanded the expiration dates of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccines, providing health workers with six more weeks to use millions of doses of the shot, according to the Associated Press.
Most Americans who have not gotten the shot have little or no intention to, according to a recent poll.
“Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not, according to a poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research,” the LA Times reports. “Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though an additional 16% say they probably will.”
Vermont’s congressional delegation wants an infrastructure bill with lots of extras
Vermont’s representatives in Washington are all supporting an ambitious $3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill that would include massive expansions to social services, electric car subsidies, and many other items that have little to do with infrastructure.
Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., told WCAX on Sunday that the bill’s “human infrastructure” components are to include “investing in pre-K education, college, family and medical leave, more broadband, and environmental issues.”
It will also include huge subsidies for green transportation and housing assistance. According to a report by Kea Wilson of StreetsBlog.org, the bill would “pump hundreds of billions into affordable housing and other policies that will make active transportation a viable option for more Americans — but it may also include big money for electric vehicles with little for other modes.”
“We finally have a bipartisan agreement on part of what we need to do on infrastructure and that is a really good thing,” Welch said.
Former President Donald Trump has been an open critic of the bill, saying the growth in federal programs and spending amounts to a “massive socialist expansion.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called the bill ” “the most consequential piece of legislation for working families since the Great Depression,” while Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said it’s “once-in-a-generation investment.”
The bill is currently in the U.S. Senate under negotiations.
April Tweet comes back to bite in City Council race
A tweet by Progressive Joe Magee from back in April has re-emerged and could impact the Burlington City Council Ward 3 special election. The candidate posted “abolish the police” on his Twitter account, stating clearly his position on police staffing for the city, which, according to Burlington’s chief of police, is critically low.
abolish the police https://t.co/BKegx6cAdm
— Joe Magee (he/they) (@joemageebtv) April 23, 2021
In another tweet posted July 27, Magee calls for “dismantling the racist, classist structures” of society.
Vermont can and should lead the way on dismantling the racist, classist structures that have kept many from serving in elected office. Our laws won’t reflect the will of the people until our leaders actually represent the communities who elected them. 4/4
— Joe Magee (he/they) (@joemageebtv) July 27, 2021
Magee faces off against Republican Christopher-Aaron Felker and Democrat Owen Milne, executive director of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. Felker is the only candidate to say he supports raising the number of officers to recommended levels. Milne wants major reformations for the police department including merging policing with public health efforts.