Tom Kelly of Barre, a longtime deputy prosecutor, Army veteran, and naturally-immune Covid-19 survivor, was fired Nov. 5 for not wearing a mask at his job in the Lamoille County State’s Attorney’s office. A lightly-edited version of his speech to a Health Choice Vermont gathering at the Essex Grange last Saturday appears below. Facebook video courtesy of RebirththeMedia. – Editor
by Tom Kelly
I must say I am in fear. Not for my personal health or the health of my family (virus). And not of government tyranny. But of fear itself. Will I take action? Have I got what it takes? Actually, the answer will be obvious. I don’t have what it takes. I need to rely upon a higher power totally and completely. I am merely a vehicle for Him and my job is to be humble, to listen and to take the steps necessary to fulfill His will.
Freedom and Unity is the Vermont motto. I suggest we are losing the Freedom part as government tyranny pushes us toward unity of thought and conduct. I have chosen to resist and not cooperate.
In recounting the taking of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, Ethan Allen later wrote, “Ever since I arrived at the state of manhood and acquainted myself with the general history of mankind, I have felt a sincere passion for liberty. The history of nations, doomed to perpetual slavery in consequence of yielding up to tyrants their natural born liberties I read with a sort of philosophical horror; so that the first systematic and bloody attempt, at Lexington, to enslave America, thoroughly electrified my mind and fully determined me to take part with my country.”
What else does history teach us? Os Guinness, author of A Free People’s Suicide, resurrects for our generation a principle our Founders would have recognized: The Golden Triangle of Freedom. Summarized: (1) Freedom requires virtue; (2) Virtue requires faith; and (3) Faith requires freedom.
Are we in the midst of another attempt to enslave America? To enslave Vermont?
I will not be vaccinated and I would not agree to the “or else” mandates my boss has imposed. I have worked for the government most of my life – in the US Army for 29 years (a mix of active duty and reserve time) and nearly 34 years as either a Deputy State’s Attorney or as State’s Attorney for Washington County (8 years). Much of my professional life I have been involved in enforcing the law. My time as a deputy in Lamoille County recently ended as a result of the vaccine attestation mandate imposed by my boss and his decision to require me to wear a mask at all worksites (like a proverbial leper) and submit to periodic testing. I refused and he fired me effective November 5, 2021.
Government policy has turned the state upside down on account of a total of less than 401 deaths over the course of 20 months since March 2020, vaguely attributed to something we refer to as COVID-19. Even with the very vague and loose definition of death, less than one percent of those who have tested positive have “died” from or with COVID as a contributing factor (whatever that means). We have ignored natural immunity and ignored effective early treatment. The government and complicit media has suppressed information. What is going on?
We seem to have forgotten basics about our structure of government and even the limits of government power. When I first learned of the government decision regarding state employees I wrote a letter to my boss, the State’s Attorney of Lamoille County, one of 14 elected State’s Attorneys – constitutional officers who are elected by county voters. They don’t work for Governor Scott except in the sense that he is a citizen and resident of the state. He has zero authority to dictate to State’s Attorneys their decision to hire and fire and how to run their individual offices, unless the individual State’s Attorney decides to accept some policy dictate.
Anyway, on Friday, September 5, 2021, I received an email directly from Suzanne Young, Secretary of Administration. Secretary Young does work directly for Governor Scott. She wrote that executive branch employees will need to attest that they have been vaccinated or they will need to be tested weekly and wear an appropriate face covering at work. I wrote a letter to my boss:
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the governor’s business whether I am vaccinated or not. And I will not be tested weekly and I will not wear a face covering at work. Incidentally, as I have told you I believe I contracted the virus in March 2020. My symptoms were mild and I recovered. Published reports from Israel suggest the natural immunity produced when one contracts the virus far surpasses the immunity conferred by any of the so-called vaccines, which, I have learned, are not safe. Besides, the virus is treatable. Finally, the so-called vaccines have either been produced or tested using cells from aborted human being and their use would violate my religious beliefs.
As you well know or should know, I do not work for Suzanne Young or her boss, Governor Scott, and I don’t work for John Campbell or the executive director of the SA Department. I work for you.
Secretary Young’s memo purports to lay out requirements for “executive branch employees.” I am not sure what that means as it relates to me and the policy. Certainly, in some broad sense I am an executive branch employee, as opposed to an employee of the judicial branch or the legislative branch. Nevertheless, since you are a constitutional officer, elected by the people of Lamoille County, my employment is a product of your election and your appointment of me. The executive branch of government is splintered; a wise move by Vermont’s framers and the people who approved the constitution. Essentially there are several independent branches of the executive branch.
Again, Governor Scott, Suzanne Young and John Campbell and the executive committee of the SA Department are just bystanders as it relates to my employment at the SA office in Lamoille County. The governor announced a policy which is laid out by Secretary Young in her memo. His policy, no matter how ill-advised or intrusive or wise or protective, is a policy for people that work for him. Secretary Young’s reference to “elected officials” is curious. Does this mean the elected governor thinks he can order you and the other SAs, the AG, the Sheriff and others to comply with this policy? By what authority? It also seems to me that the elected officials such as yourself, the SAs in the other counties, the Sheriff, the AG and others, can make your own policy. Perhaps you have done so. If so, tell me what it is.
During our discussion on Friday, you said the last time you looked my paycheck said State of Vermont. The source of the funds for my pay does not mean that I work for the governor. The legislative branch appropriated money to staff the offices of the elected states’ attorney but I am not aware that the funds are conditioned on your adoption of the governor’s vaccination attestation policy.
You also asked me whether I was a union member. As I told you I am not a member of the union. I don’t think DSAs should be unionized. Not sure what difference this makes as to who creates the policy in Office of the Lamoille County SA.
You said you would consult with the other SAs at a meeting on Thursday, September 16, the day after the governor’s policy is effective.
The bottom line – I look to you first for your policy on this topic. If you’re telling me that the policy discussed in the attached applies to me, explain how that is.
Please don’t misunderstand the tone of this letter. As I told you, I bear you no ill will. I hope you know I have been a loyal deputy and will continue to be one as long as I am employed.
The next day I heard back from Lamoille County State’s Attorney Todd Shove. Here is my subsequent letter to him:
September 17, 2021
For reference, see attached a copy of my September 15 letter describing your and the SAS department’s previous effort to suggest that I must follow Governor Scott’s policy for “executive branch” employees; that all must attest to having been “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 or else. The Governor’s policy is outlined in the documents I attached to that previous letter. Since I provided you my letter on Wednesday afternoon, you met with the other 13 State’s Attorneys in Montpelier on September 16 and, as you told me during a phone call from the all-day meeting to me in Hyde Park, you decided to adopt the Governor’s policy for the Lamoille County office. I am glad you apparently now agree with me that the Governor’s policy does not apply to people like me who work for independently elected constitutional officers. Unfortunately, you have decided to adopt the policy without any further explanation to me. The vote by the other SAs is interesting but only one vote counts – yours – as it relates to me and the policy.
Over the phone when you announced your new policy you told me I was not in compliance for some unspecified reason. I presume your policy adopts the requirements as outlined in the Governor’s policy – wear a piece of paper across my face (a.k.a. a “mask”) at the worksite and submit to weekly testing. I am not sure how you knew I was not in compliance by speaking with me through the telephone yesterday. Testing guidance has not been announced so it must have been the mask requirement. You did not ask me whether I was wearing a mask. Anyway, just to be clear, I did not wear a mask at the office yesterday. And I don’t plan to get tested weekly.
I don’t know if there is any precedent in the nation or state where government officials have essentially attempted to force people to take experimental drugs. You might say I’m not being forced because I have the option of being singled out by wearing that piece of paper across my face all day at work and indefinitely, and submit to weekly testing, also indefinitely, in exchange for a badge of compliance and perhaps in exchange for continued employment. In my book you are trying to force me to take the “vaccine.” I say no, thank you. You tell me you now need to speak to the personnel folks to decide next steps. I wait to hear from you.
You had an opportunity to take a step back and consider whether to follow the regrettable path taken by the Governor but instead spent a couple of hours, maybe, to consider the situation and go along. You still could reconsider your policy and I suggest you do so. Your policy ignores the notion of natural immunity, as I mentioned in the attached previous letter. See, Natural Immunity Longer Lasting Than Protection From COVID-19 Vaccines: Dr. Robert Malone (theepochtimes.com). As the inventor of the vaccine RNA technology, Dr. Robert Malone, has said, “[T]he breadth of that immune response . . . is more diverse and more long-lasting that the breadth of immune response elicited by the spike-based vaccines alone.” Dr. Malone says there’s “six- to 20-fold improvement in protection from infection and disease associated with the natural immunity acquired from prior infection compared to that conferred by the vaccine.”
If this is true, we should celebrate every time a person contracts and recovers from the very treatable virus, which, in most cases, including my own, is a condition with mild symptoms. Instead of ringing our hands we should be thrilled as we move toward herd immunity. Instead of robust efforts to further confirm the immunity conferred upon the thousands of Vermonters who have recovered from the virus, and focus on treatments which have proven effective, you have adopted an establishment policy which orders loyal, hard-working, long-serving employees to submit to a “vaccine” of questionable value (can you spell “break through infection” and “booster shots”?); a policy which forces people, including children in school, to cover their faces to pretend there is protection when perhaps the virus particles are too tiny to be stopped by the mask fabric. I don’t think anyone suggests children are seriously at risk. Does the masking adversely affect learning and development? Can you spell “child abuse?” It makes me wonder whether the medical profession has largely abandoned the oath to “do no harm.” Doctors need to stand up and join in the discussion and stop ceding their territory to government bureaucrats and politics. Isn’t it curious that the “vaccines” only seem available from Walgreen’s, Walmart and other such places? Can one even get the vaccine from their doctor?
By the way, a different approach is possible. I saw news reports yesterday that a state senator in New Jersey introduced legislation to give those who have contracted the virus and recovered, and therefore obtained the robust immunity discussed above, the same rights as those who are vaccinated.
I think individuals will eventually stand up to tyranny. I pray it happens sooner rather than later.
God bless you and your family.