Daily Archives: December 9, 2021

Jason Gibbs, Sooooper Genius

Not Exactly As Illustrated.

Collars must be getting tight around the Pavilion Building’s fifth floor, where Gov. Phil Scott and his inner circle have their offices. I say this because yesterday, Scott’s chief of staff Jason Gibbs delivered a series of tweets in which he claimed to know more about Covid-19 than the actual experts. Most of his attention was focused on one particular expert, Anne Sosin of Dartmouth College. He took exception to her advocacy of a mask mandate, questioned her ethics and research, and challenged her to a Science-Off on Twitter — everyone’s chosen platform for scientific discourse.

At times it approached the level of bullying. It was an unusual and unseemly performance by Phil Scott’s top guy.

Oh wait — he’s come back for Round 2 today! I’m surprised; I thought he’d get a talking-to from his boss and return to his hidey hole. Hmm. Maybe the governor wants his chief of staff out there showing his ass to the world.

Can we conclude that this is of a piece with the administration’s blinkered approach to “the science and the data” that Scott claims to rely on? When asked about dissenting experts at a recent Covid briefing, Scott professed to trust the experts in the building. His underlings, that is.

What’s gotten under their skin? It’s not the failure of their Delta variant policy or the terrible Covid case counts or hospitalizations or ICU admissions or the overstressed health care system or the slow plague of long Covid we’re setting ourselves up for. Maybe it was the Vermont chapter of the American College of Physicians publicly calling for a mask mandate and other “evidence-based measures.” Maybe it was former health commissioner Dr. Harry Chen joining the chorus. There are so many experts on that side, and so many studies showing that mask mandates are effective, that Team Scott must be feeling a bit embattled.

But, for whatever reason, Gibbs’ primary target was Sosin.

Continue reading