Vermont health commissioner looking into potential flaw in COVID-19 hospitalization data

HOSPITALIZATIONS GLITCH?: Vermont’s top health official says the Department of Health is looking into a potential problem in how COVID hospitalizations are counted in Vermont.

Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Tuesday that the Health Department is aware that nearly half of New York’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have been hospital admissions from medical emergencies unrelated to the coronavirus, and that Vermont may have a similar glitch with its hospitalization statistics.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released data late last week that about 43% of COVID hospital admissions in the state did not list COVID as one of the reasons for admission. These patients were tested for coronavirus and found to be positive after being admitted for other reasons.

“I would not want to give a percentage today based on my guess about that, but the bottom line is we’re actually looking into [this] — which is trying to get a better handle on understanding who is admitted because of COVID, and who is admitted and then you find out they have COVID because they got a test in the emergency room on the way up to the floor,” he said.

Levine added that when it comes to hospitalizations and COVID, there’s often a combination of factors involved.

“Keep in mind it’s not always black and white,” he said. “There are many people who are very complex medically; those are the kind of people that end up in the hospital generally anyways, and COVID could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, even though it wasn’t mainly their reason for admission.”

On Monday, Vermont set a new COVID hospitalizations record at 101. If New York’s percentage — 43% — holds true for Vermont, only about 56 of those hospitalizations would be admissions in which COVID is listed as the reason for appearing at the hospital. The rest would be individuals hospitalized for other medical emergencies, and who later were tested for COVID and found positive.

Vermont and VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System)

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is the federal government’s early warning system to detect possible safety problems with vaccines. The database is managed through a partnership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the most recent VAERS data for Vermont, since the beginning of the pandemic 1,878 residents have reported adverse reactions after receiving a COVID vaccine. Of that number, 11 people died, 30 became disabled and 69 were hospitalized.

Levine told True North on Tuesday that while these cases are reported locally, investigations are up to the CDC and FDA.

“First, thanks to Vermonters who have put information into the system, and Vermont physicians who have put information into the system, because that’s what it’s meant to be — an early warning system,” Levine said. “Anything that could be even remotely connected to the vaccine goes into the system and then it gets checked out.”

He added: “The Vermont Department of Health nor the Vermont clinical community does not investigate every one of those, they report those. And they go to the CDC and federal authorities where further investigation is undertaken and looked at in the context of what’s being reported by all 50 states and territories as a big compendium.”

In a separate interview with True North, state Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, vice-chair of the House Health Care Committee, said committee members heard about VAERS cases data when they addressed childhood vaccination requirements for schools. She said the problem with the data is the lack of further investigation by the appropriate health care authorities.

“One of the other issues around it is it’s based just on reports without any investigation or followup or knowledge of those reports,” Donahue said. “Also they can be made by anyone, so it might be a physician who has a lot of expertise, it might just be somebody who believes they had an issue.

“So really, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a very helpful resource. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a resource that we should have or need, but I don’t think it’s helpful as it stands.”

A 2010 Harvard University study on VAERS data quality determined that “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported to the system.”

Last year a Vermont nurse approached national media about allegations that her superiors were pressuring staff not to investigate potential COVID vaccine reactions.

Watch the governor’s full Jan. 11, 2022, weekly media briefing here.

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

20 thoughts on “Vermont health commissioner looking into potential flaw in COVID-19 hospitalization data

  1. Enough of Vermont officials spewing canned responses about mask mandates and vaccine effectivity while they reference vague terms about “the science” and “the data”. It is time to make the data available so we can have open discussions about what is best for Vermont and Vermonters. Enough of the condescending response that imply we couldn’t possibly understand “the data”, that we not qualified to interpret “the data”, that we must blindly comply and without question.
    True knowledge is gained through humility and collaboration, not bureaucrats making more bureaucracy. Vermont needs to learn how to live with the virus, so let’s work together to get a better understanding of who is most at risk and why, then begin working on ways treat the disease and not waist any more time trying and cure it.
    Let’s look at the useful data for a change, why are we reporting the number of daily “cases” like batting average box scores? Really, how is this information useful, why go through the trouble of recording and reporting the number daily “cases” and not recording and reporting important data about those “cases”?
    We need to take an unemotional look at “the data” and have discussions about what the data is telling us.

    Out of the Total 71,942 of Confirmed and Probable Cases in Vermont:
    How many were symptomatic vs non symptomatic?
    How many had mild symptoms?
    How many had severe symptoms?
    What is the recovery time for mild symptoms?
    What is the recovery time for severe symptoms?
    What sort of treatment did they receive?

    We should be looking at similar metrics for the 5,112 hospitalizations, 794 confirmed ICU patients.
    What is the age groups?
    How many were admitted to the hospital because of covid and how many were admitted for something else?
    Did they have existing medical conditions like hypertension or diabetes?
    Were they Smokers?
    Were they overweight?
    Were they on any medications?
    What treatments were used on which of those people?

    We should also look at this for the total state deaths, 88% of the covid attributed deaths in Vermont were over 60 years old and the majority of those were over 75 years old.
    Did they have existing medical conditions like hypertension or diabetes?
    Were they Smokers?
    Were they overweight?
    Were they on any medications?
    Where there pre existing conditions and what were they?

  2. Levine promptly left a message on Fauci’s voice mail….”what do I say, what do I do? Help!”

    • Fauci: “Just do what I tell you to do and stop listening to those naysayers who keep telling you to look at the science. I AM THE SCIENCE! Have I not told you that over and over?”

  3. If the VAERS numbers aren’t accurate, what are the correct numbers and why don’t we know them? No one in government science seems interested.

  4. On the one hand, more people are seeing the lies. On the other hand, censorship and authoritarian measures are increasing. Canada has announced that it will start making the unvaccinated pay substantial fines.

    Does history tell us that when we force medication on the population we always get the result we want? We sure get the result the authorities wanted, but it never works out well for we, the people.

    Holocaust survivors such as Vera Sharav warn that what’s happening today parallels what happened during the Third Reich.

    Censorship? Check.
    Measures enacted under the guise of “stay safe”? Check.
    Amplification of fear? Check.
    Purging the medical system of dissenters? Check.
    Engaging in the practice of forced medication? Check.
    Intolerant of any challenges to the medical authorities? Check.

    Power is being consolidated under one biomedical vision. This is not different from what happened in Nazi Germany. This is EXACTLY what happened. Everyone who participated believed they were doing this for the greater good. This is EXACTLY what’s happening today. They were wrong then but they believed they were right and acted upon that surety. Everyone participating in the smothering of individual liberty today believes they’re doing this for the greater good.

    There’s absolutely no difference between the beginnings of the Nazi atrocities and what’s happening today. That’s why Holocaust survivors are speaking up.

    Says Sharav: “As public officials they talk about the greater good. Who has the authority to decide what is the greater good? … If the individuals are oppressed or relegated to third-class citizens … what kind of society is it? We are now at the gate of that.”

    When asked about whether or not she believed we are in fact on the cusp of a Nazi-like society and why, Sharav replied emphatically: “I absolutely do… One of the main things that has happened in these 18 months of the pandemic is that fear has been the major weapon, which has really crippled people from thinking straight. It has isolated people and taught children to distrust other people: ‘They might be infected, they might infect me.’”

    What was the “Jewish problem”? It was the thought that the Jews would infect German society. What is the “Unvaccinated problem” today? Is it not exactly the same? And are not those who wish to install authoritarian measures today as certain of their righteousness as those who wished to install authoritarian measures back then? There is no difference. There is absolutely no difference, and yet the authoritarians of today walk around wrapping themselves in a cloak of righteousness, and are completely blind to what they’re doing.

    The problem with Godwin’s law is that whenever there really is something happening comparable to Nazism, it gets dismissed.

  5. As Jesse Kelly said on Twitter:

    “Watch and see the reaction from the Western world as it’s slowly revealed to them they’ve been lied to for two years. It will tell you all you need to know about our future prospects.

    The unbridled hatred you should feel for the politicians, bureaucrats, and CEOs who ripped up your life for two years over a lie should be palpable. [For them.] These people should be publicly shamed. They should be shouted down. Some, should be put on trial.”

    And when some blue-check lib took offense to Jesse’s remarks and told him to “take a mature approach,” Jesse added:

    “They shredded your life for two years and none of them lived by their own rules. They lined their pockets and partied in Florida and lived like kings. It’s not “mature” to let that go without a reckoning. It’s weak and pathetic and inviting them to do it again. If all we had was “two weeks to slow the spread,” sure, maybe we could be “mature” and let bygones be bygones. But they lied to us from the start and “two weeks” turned into two years.”

  6. “Levine told True North on Tuesday that while these cases are reported locally, investigations are up to the CDC and FDA.”

    Well, that’ll certainly ensure that the proper data is collected.

    “Anything that could be even remotely connected to the vaccine goes into the system and then it gets checked out,” said Levine. Wait a minute: we all know this isn’t true. It isn’t even remotely true that anything that could be remotely connected to the vaccine goes into VAERS. In fact, the opposite is true: physicians and medical personnel in general avoid putting anything into VAERS, either because they don’t want to see iatrogenic harms, or because they’re too busy to take the 1/2 hour it takes to fill out a report, or because they don’t want to make waves when everyone else is on the vaccine bus.

    One of the most remarkable things about the vaccine rollout has been how little attention has been paid to adverse events from these vaccines despite that they’re all experimental, that they were developed in 1/10 the time it usually takes to develop vaccines, and that none of them is approved by the FDA. Even in light of VAERS reports that should signal some concern, the medical community as a whole has its head in the sand. No one wants to be a dissenter. Guess what happens to dissenters? They get shown the door.

    We should not allow this medical tyranny to stand. It’s completely unscientific and unethical. What does it say about our society that our medical community was one of the first to remove informed consent to medical treatment, with no penalty for refusal? And that censorship of medical opinion regarding Covid-19, early treatment, and the vaccines is widespread in the medical community?

  7. One word: Obfuscation: Take your pick
    To make (something) more difficult to understand. Examples: Politicians keep obfuscating the issues. || Their explanations only serve to obfuscate and confuse.
    To make obscure. Examples: Obfuscate the issue. || Officials who … continue to obscure and obfuscate what happened. || — Mary Carroll.
    To be evasive, unclear, or confusing. Example: The suspect often obfuscated during the interrogation.

    Occams Razor. They lied from the get go, now they are trying to cover their tracks, backtrack, and pretend they are still authorities on the subject.
    And completely schtoom on the Chinese Bioweapon taking down Vermonter’s immune systems, and giving them cancer. “We’ve never seen cancer’s like these before.”

    Please people – wake up. It was never about the sniffles. There are no viruses. And the vaccines are the bioweapon taking down our military, our infrastructure, our society. It was so easy using fear.

    You might want to spend the 3 hours this BBC documentary THE CENTURY OF SELF, about Edward Bernays, and the manufacturing of consent in America. i.e. why this all went so well and easily for them, and why people fell for it.

  8. Suddenly when they need the pandemic to end….oh, oh the data was wrong!

    So now we have nothing to fear, when in reality, we had nothing to fear.

    They are already telling doctors it’s going to end soon.

    Biggest con ever.

  9. Doctors are not taught to use the VAERS system and most are encouraged not to use it, which is why only about 1% of vaccine injuries are even reported to VAERS, but even with only 1% being reported the payouts from the vaccine injury court are staggering so yes vaccine injuries do happen and they are very expensive.

  10. Hold-It Hold-It Hold-It — you mean to tell me, we may be getting unreliable information from our anointed sources?????? …oh gracious me oh my.

    • Marionette is operated by strings, they don’t need spines, hearts or brains. They don’t even need a mouth to say their own words because they have someone else speaking for them!

      They are wide spread on tv and Internet.

  11. Many weak/sickly people, with whatever symptoms, or someone with a leg fracture, are admitted to hospitals.

    When in the hospital, various routine tests are performed, including for COVID infection.

    NOTE: Some get COVID while in the hospital.

    If tested positive, right off the bat, that gets reported as a COVID case

    Do hospitals/doctors, etc., get reimbursed extra money for reporting/treating COVID cases?

    NOTE: There were 29 million reported flu cases, and 28,000 of those died of the flu, in 2018/2019 season

    All sorts of scare-easy folks read about “increased COVID cases” in the VT media, which always likes to hype any story to get and maintain eyeball attention

    The scare-easy folks increase their various modes of “distancing” behavior

    They reinforce that with shunning modes and gossipping about the evil unvaxxed, the somewhat-evil undervaxxed.

    Then, it turns out healthy, fully-vaxxed people walk around with COVID, and most of them go about their business, as usual.

    They obey signs on store windows “No entry, without mask”

    Is the frigging world going nuts, or what?


    • HA!
      so some of us hcw have noticed this “glitch” as early as March of 2020……
      Interesting timing as the heavy majority of patients are vaccinated and boosted.

      • I also should add- with such low hospitalization numbers this info would take less than one hour to gather.

        He might consider checking in with the network. We have teams that review this info daily…..

  12. Dismissal of VAERS data, at this point, is simply willful ignorance. There are now more reported adverse events for the Covid vaccine—including 21,000 deaths—than there are for all other vaccines combined in the entire 32-year history of the database. If that’s not a giant flashing CHECK ENGINE light, I don’t know what is. (And according to at least one study cited by Dr. Peter McCullough, over 80% of VAERS reports are made by health care professionals.)

  13. I disagree that VAERS isn’t “a very helpful resource”… “as it stands”.

    Yes, anyone can make a VAERS report. That’s its intent. VAERS is designed to “…provide the CDC and FDA with valuable information that additional work and evaluation is necessary to further assess a possible safety concern”.

    The problem is with the CDC’s and FDA’s incompetent follow-up procedures. They don’t ‘evaluate’. And determining why they don’t evaluate is a reasonable question for our representatives to ask. As it is now, I have no other reason but to believe CDC, the FDA, and our VT representative’s actions are intended to be deceptive… because they’ve been politically subverted.

    What’s unfortunate is that our representatives, including Dr. Levine and State Rep. Anne Donahue, don’t get their act together and make sure the CDC and FDA do what they’re supposed to do – instead of pointing the finger at anyone standing around them.

    Do your job folks!

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