Tag Archives: Jeff Zientz

Who’s Playing Politics Now?

When, in my previous post I chronicled the ways in which Gov. Phil Scott has demonstrably been Not a Nice Guy, I omitted at least one: How passive-aggressive, how positively pissy he gets when answering his critics. That trait was on full display at this week’s Covid-19 press briefing. (Available on YouTube, in case that 10-hour Norwegian train video is too much for your blood pressure.)

Otherwise, the briefing was another dismal affair. The statistics don’t look good, and Scott had to acknowledge that they’re about to get worse because of the Thanksgiving holiday. For a week or two, he said. Which, he did not add, gets us to the year-end holidays, office parties and family gatherings, which means we can’t realistically expect any improvement in the numbers until at least mid-January.

In other happy tidings, Scott was asked how many Vermonters were still vulnerable to infection because they were unvaccinated or hadn’t gained a measure of immunity through contracting Covid. He admitted to asking the same question himself. “I kept wondering how much wood is left to fuel this fire,” he said, “and the answer was higher than I expected.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine filled in the specifics: About 50,000 unvaccinated adults, about half of the 44,000 kids between ages 5-11, plus children under age 5 who can’t be vaccinated yet. “There still is, as the governor kind of alluded to, plenty of fresh, uninfected people who have never been vaccinated that this virus can still find. And it is very adept at finding them,” Levine said.

Hm. Whatever you think about metaphorically comparing vulnerable Vermonters to firewood or fresh meat, that’s an admission that Scott’s vaccinate-first, vaccinate-always strategery was kind of doomed from the beginning. We are, to his credit, at the top of the national rankings in vaccinations… and yet, here we are with plenty of “wood” to burn and a growing pile of case counts, hospitalizations and deaths.

Wood, pile? See what I di… never mind. Back to Pissy Phil.

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