This week’s gubernatorial Covid briefing had a different feel to it. There was, dare I say it, a bit of hope in the air. Not because Gov. Phil Scott’s Covid policies are finally paying off, but because vaccination for children ages 5-11 will soon arrive to pull his fat out of the fire.
So that was the message, repeated ad nauseam. The children’s vaccine is coming! Any day now! Please get your kids jabbed ASAP!
The message was hammered home by guest presenter Dr. Rebecca Bell, president of the Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She delivered a thorough, well-supported endorsement of vaccines in general and the Covid shot in particular. The development and testing process, she said, had produced “safe and effective” vaccine regimens for children. For parents on the fence about kiddie jabs, she noted that the uncertainty isn’t with the vaccine; it’s with the virus.
The only downbeat note came from DFR Commissioner and Statistical Soothsayer Michael Pieciak, whose crystal ball was once again pretty damn foggy. “Things could potentially improve significantly,” he said, before adding “They could get worse as well.”
Scott and his minions laid out their plan to immediately vaccinate as many kids as possible. If federal approval came tonight, they said, vaccinations could start as soon as Thursday. (UPDATE: It appears that final approval will come tonight. The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee voted unanimously in favor; CDC director Rachelle Wolensky is expected to follow suit.)
There’s good reason for all the haste. Kiddie-vax may be the key to finally bringing down case counts to acceptable levels and, dare I say, actually turning the corner on the coronavirus.
Note: Second item has a significant update. Press WILL be admitted to Winooski/Enosburg soccer game.
Oh, you thought you were done with this, did you? Yeah, my awards for stupidity and/or obtuseness in the public sector have been on sabbatical lately — it’s been harder to see the funny this fall, mostly due to the ongoing pandemic. But here we are again! On the docket: Noblesse oblige at the homelessness protest, barring the media from a soccer match, an especially stupid Covid rationalization from Team Scott, and Bennington Justice rears its ugly head.
We have multiple awardees for the It Was Quite Literally The Least We Could Do Award. The recipients include Gov. Phil Scott, House Speaker Jill Krowinski, and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint. Brenda Siegel and Josh Lisenby, advocates for restoring the full emergency housing program, held what VTDigger helpfully called “a small rally” on Monday at the site of their Statehouse protest/campout. Apparently Siegel and Lisenby have cooties or something, because neither Krowinski nor Ballnt attended in person and Scott continues to resist meeting with them.
The Speaker and Pro Tem did issue a statement for Siegel to read, in which they endorsed full restoration of the program. Which is interesting since, as the governor points out on every occasion, they agreed to the springtime deal restricting the program. Nice of them to belatedly come down on the side of compassion. And while Scott could really use a spark of humanity, he refuses to meet with the advocates. But hey, as VTDigger put it, “they were granted an interview on Monday with Sean Brown, the commissioner of the Department for Children and Families.” Wow. “Granted an interview.” How noblesse oblige of them.
Brown reportedly said the administration would consider reopening the full program when/if (climate change, y’know) the weather gets really cold. Which tells you the administration sees this first and foremost as a PR problem. They want to be as stingy as possible, but they could do without pictures of freezing protesters or homeless people with hypothermia.