By Guy Page
Gov. Phil Scott isn’t worried about the lawsuit filed May 10 to prevent discrimination against people who decline Covid-19 vaccination.
“This is not a new lawsuit. This is something that happened a few weeks ago, maybe a few months ago. We feel secure in our position. We don’t fear this lawsuit,” Scott told Stewart Ledbetter of WPTZ at today’s press briefing.
On March 2, Jim Hogue of Calais, Emily Peyton of Putney, Karen Eddings, Morningstar Porta, Kathleen Tarrant, and Deborah Dailey filed for an immediate emergency injunction in US Federal Court against Gov. Phil Scott, Attorney General TJ Donovan, and Health Commissioner Mark Levine “to halt orders, rules and enforcement regarding the lifting of quarantine solely for those who vaccinate” and other measures.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants are guilty of constitutional overreach and of misrepresenting the medical facts about Covid-19.
Under further questioning by Ledbetter, Scott said Vermont’s vaccination strategy has been successful. “Just look at the data and the science…..our rate has reduced dramatically, our deaths have reduced. We’re not mandating anything, it’s your personal choice. But it’s working, and our numbers show it.”
Also at today’s press conference, state officials provided the following Covid-19 update:
- 62% of Vermonters have received at least a first dose
- About 50% of black Vermonters have been vaccinated
- Cases are down 69% since April 1
- Hospitalizations are down 29% in the last 14 days
- The State of Maine is a cautionary tale for Vermont – almost five times as many people/capita in the ICU, including many young people.
Scott also confirmed that by May 15 he will extend the State of Emergency for at least another another month. Commissioner Mark Levine said the likely ‘endemic’ nature of Covid won’t require longterm public health practices of masking, social distancing, etc..