“Anti-vaxxer” cartoon in legislative briefing not funny, lawmaker says

Cartoon by Walt Handelsman included in legislative economic forecast presentation by fiscal analyst Tom Kavet

By Guy Page

Not funny, a Northeast Kingdom lawmaker said of an anti-vaccine freedom cartoon shared by the presenter of the Dec. 8 economic forecast briefing to the Legislature

Every December, state economist Tom Kavet presents a high-level overview of the state’s financial outlook to the Vermont Legislature. The annual PowerPoint presentation tells lawmakers what to expect from the state and national economy – what’s happening now, what will happen, and why. His forecast helps lawmakers make crucial decisions on spending and taxation. 

As one might imagine, these presentations are heavy on facts, figures, and graphs. Kavet, eager to keep his audience’s attention, often throws in a political cartoon or two to elicit a chuckle and, it is hoped, understanding. 

This year, the second slide in the 48-slide presentation showed a recent cartoon by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Walt Handelsman. In the cartoon, Uncle Sam is seen juggling eight dangerous items – including a knife pointed directly at him labeled “anti-vaxxers”. 

Rep. Vicki Strong

According to Rep. Vicki Strong (R-Albany), the cartoon – and related comments by Kavet – were “highly inappropriate.” 

“Right off the bat, he went into a discourse about how the ‘unvaccinated’ will be putting a big strain on our healthcare beds and systems,” Strong, a lead sponsor of several vaccine freedom bills, said. “He had a few slides of “data” and said that the majority of covid cases in the hospitals are the unvaccinated, and that they will be an economic concern for our state budget.” 

In the very first slide he has a cartoon depiction of fiscal concerns and the word “anti-vaxxers” was in the slide as though they are a threat.  This was highly inappropriate,” she wrote in an email to Vermont Daily Chronicle. She criticized “the ‘spin’ being brought forth without any regard to people who have experienced vaccine injuries, people with natural immunity, the high rate of recovery from covid infections – 99% of the population, and the complete absence of mentioning preventatives and successful treatments for covid infection (vitamins, ivermectin).”

Kavet did, indeed, seem to disparage the choice of the unvaccinated:

“Despite an extraordinary vaccine development effort that made vaccination freely accessible for the entire eligible U.S. population, uptake remains subaltern with only 64% of those ages 5 and up fully vaccinated. Vermont (at 77%) and 4 of the other 5 regional New England states have the highest rates of vaccination among all U.S. states, with NH at #12, still in the upper tier.

“Per capita rates of infection are about 5 times more likely and hospitalizations and death are about 13 times more likely among those who are unvaccinated. In Vermont and most states, unvaccinated individuals represent the vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients. A Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation study estimated preventable hospitalization costs for unvaccinated people in the U.S. totaled nearly $6 billion between June and August of 2021 – and based on these rates, could exceed $15 billion by the end of the year.”

Strong also warned that non-vaccinated people may have difficulty entering the State House – ‘The People’s House’ – this January: “Also, you probably already heard there will most likely be a requirement to have proof of “vaccination” or take a PCR test before getting into the State House in January.  I will not be doing either of those things so we will see how this all plays out!”

A spokesperson at the Sgt. of Arms office said today “there is nothing definitive on that, at this point” when asked about proof of vaccine or PCR testing being required for entry. VDC has reached out to lawmakers on the Joint Rules Committee for comment. 

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19 replies »

    not what i wanted to say

  2. I’d like these vax lovers explain how if the vaccine works, people on cruise ships where everyone was vaxed have out breaks of C-19, or how states like FL were they are not going crazy for masks have fewer cases then Vermont where thousands are vaxed. — Just to see if these people have a working brain.

    • Uh did you not read the statistics in the article? Unvaccinated are at magnitudes greater risk for infection, hospitalizations, and deaths.

      Why are there breakthrough cases? Because no one ever claimed the vaccine was 100% effective and efficacy against Delta is reduced further.

      Your comment about Vermont having more cases than Florida is factually untrue. I just check today and recent data shows Florida averaging around 1,795 cases while Vermont is at 455. Looking at all-time data is even better for Vermont and worse for Florida. Vermont’s all time cases per 100k is almost half that of Florida. And most importantly, all time data for deaths per 100k has Florida at 289 (8th highest). Vermont is at 68 (lowest rate of any state) – (

      Maybe instead of insulting other’s brains you should take a minute to review if what you are claiming makes sense or is even true.

      • Re: “Uh did you not read the statistics in the article? Unvaccinated are at magnitudes greater risk for infection, hospitalizations, and deaths.”

        Apparently, you didn’t read the report either.

        Over the last two weeks ending Dec. 1st, vaccinated people were just as likely to die from Covid as were unvaccinated people. In fact, while 2.2 vaccinated people per 100K died, only 2.1 unvaccinated people per 100K died.

        Go figure.

      • H. Jay,

        So your argument is that we should only look at two weeks of data, ignore countless other weeks and months, so you are correct? That’s a cherry pick if I have ever seen one and extremely dishonest with the totality of the data.

  3. here’s the problem. We have university safe spaces for people who are triggered by a jury verdict in Kenosha, We have a “trainer” of Vermont employees who said she was offended when people complimented her teenage son as being “well spoken”. I could go on and on about the offense people take daily at the most banal or innocent remarks, or even at court verdicts that actually took the rule of law seriously. But if anyone says anything really offensive about the deplorables, then the victims have to “get a life”. A cartoon showing a machete like knife, with a label on it implying that millions of Americans are killers, is offensive. If the knife was labeled “BLM”, an organization which has called–rightly so–vaccine mandates “racist”, it would result in the cartoonist and Kavet likely losing their jobs.

  4. I guess you had to be there….The cartoon by itself is innocuous, but paired with Kavett’s comments? For the esteemed Mr. Kavett, currently in England there is a new syndrome afflicting the “vaxxed”, primarily males. It has been labeled “Post-Pandemic Stress Disorder”. Really. It’s a thing – and primarily results in heart problems requiring hospitalization. Soon enough it will be an issue in the US. Mysteriously, the onset of this syndrome appears to coincide with “vaccination”, but the health experts say it’s coincidental. How might that affect Vermont’s population and hospitalization rates? I’d ask whom is picking up the hospital tab for all these “unvaxxed” naughty folks as well as those with heart issues supposedly linked to PPSD.
    Rep. Strong is right to challenge these forward thinkers- and I applaud her for it.
    All this forward thinking certainly is working out well, eh?

  5. It’s a freakin joke..we have to have some humor don’t we? Lighten up people and stop over thinking🤦‍♀️

  6. Invite everyone – including all the legislators to the Faith, Hope and Healing Global Covid Summit being brought to Vermont Jan. 14-15 by an international team of doctors. For more informaiton go to Let’s help Vicki Strong get H283 passed assuring free choice on vaccines.

  7. Excuse my falling off the image-managing pedantic cliff here but…well, sometimes, I just can’t help myself. anyway… . When folks discover some TRUTH, a revelation, they frequently become very zealous about their epiphany. They’re compelled to give it to their neighbors…to insist that others buy it. They become impatient with the imperative for a civilized conversion process…”you dullards don’t know how to think about this…just submit…it’s source is…holy” This is often in the context of threats… if you don’t buy this…dire stuff, catastrophes will befall you. (Think Mohamed’s return to Mecca from Medina — Submit or you and your property are forfeit.) Here, for our current RONA issue, we have the proposition that we buy the holy scientists vision of covid and the response protocols implied OR…they’ll call us killers and sic the government on us. Anything outside this narrowly defined orthodoxy is HERESY…its blasphemy…and elicits the same reaction it’s had in the past. Folks are grievously offended…reactively indignant…and we’ll have to be dealt with, seriously.. This template has not worked out well in the past and I suspect we won’t let it prevail now.

  8. Thank You Representative Strong for advocating Freedom and Unity-The Vermont Way!

    The image of concern regarding the knife depicts that anyone who does not participate 100% in the vaccine narrative is labeled, “antivaxxer.” This knife image appears to relate to the expression, “backstabber,” and in the Biden regime, it is how fully non-vaccinating Americans are viewed. This is creating an obvious divide. Whereas during the times of Plague, people were fearful of rats. Today, the government is using the fear of death by stoking fear of those who are not 100% vaccine compliant-fearing human against human. I pray that our Vermont People are wise enough to see through this attempt to divide/rift us- never let this happen. Never let the government pit us against each other! Remember the words of our Constitution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness! Our government must always emulate this basic God-given premise of free will (with wisdom and knowledge behind it).

  9. It is interesting the slant monicker of “antivaxxer” is akin to the “scarlet letter” of old. The globist UN puppets use slander and demorilize those who do not follow their doctrine. The same tactic is weilded upon the “climate change deniers.” If a person has a legimate medical reason or real concern to pass on the human test trials, they are mocked and ostracized. Thousands of deaths and disabilities this agenda has brought upon humanity is not an issue. The propaganda campaign and nefarious plan is published for all the world to see by the WHO, IMF, and the UN. The uptick in their blatant corrupt messaging shows they are losing the battle to depopulate and enslave humanity. The plan has nothing to do with health. Soon, hopefully very soon, the ghoulish experimentation on human beings will be terminated and all those involved will be prosecuted.

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