Commentary

McGuinness: We must demand transparent Covid data

Screenshot from today’s Vermont Health Dept. Covid-19 dashboard shows lack of ‘unvaccinated’ category mortality information.

by Renee McGuinness

The transparency of Vermont Health Dept. Covid-19 data has always been dubious. Now two recent articles in the Vermont Daily Chronicle definitively expose that the Vermont Department of Health Covid-19 Dashboard lacks transparency and context.  

For nearly two years our state legislature passed legislation, changed voting laws, worked remotely, and (through the Joint Rules Committee) imposed unconstitutional mandates at the State House – all based upon this nebulous data. 

The current data provided on the dashboard does not “suffice,” as Vermont Department of Health spokesperson Ben Truman would like us to accept (Jan. 18 Vermont Daily Chronicle).  But the presentation of data is unacceptable because it is insufficient: it does not list fatalities of unvaccinated Vermonters, even as we are told repeatedly this is a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

Providing this crucial data shouldn’t be a heavy lift. Hospitals collect patients’ vaccination status.

Rep. Mari Cordes (Page photo)

When I asked Vermont House Representative Mari Cordes, an RN who works at UVMMC, why the hospital cannot record that a patient is unvaccinated when admitted to the hospital rather than lumping together partially vaccinated with the unvaccinated, she replied, “We (UVMMC) routinely add vaccination status to patient charts/EMRs, whether unvaccinated, partially, or fully vaccinated. If the patient was not vaccinated by one of our providers we won’t have access to that information unless the patient volunteers it, but otherwise – it’s not difficult and we do it all of the time. I confirmed this just now with hospital leadership. I won’t/can’t speak on behalf of the Health Department or Dr. Levine.”[As to why The Vermont Department of Health currently refuses to track unvaccinated deaths from covid.]

The second article shows that it took a Freedom of Information request to learn that covid-19 is the primary cause of death in 26% of covid death certificates.  

Yet on its dashboard, the Vermont Department of Health does not separate “death from covid-19” from “death with covid-19.” Instead it reports the total number of covid-19 deaths regardless if covid is listed as the first, second, third, or fourth cause of death, or is among “other significant contributions” leading to death. (The FOIA-requested spreadsheet does not indicate whether the patients that died were unvaccinated or vaccinated.) 

Context is also lacking from the Health Dept.’s public information. Covid data is incomplete when it is limited to case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths, without the context of hospitalizations and deaths from infectious disease measured over the course of several decades.

Legislators continue to act based upon dubious Vermont Department of Health data that lacks context.

Please contact your state representatives and senators and ask them to contact Health Commissioner Levine: Ask legislators to contact Commissioner Levine and insist the Department of Health be fully transparent. We the People cannot possibly have confidence our legislators are serving to protect our rights if they refuse to insist upon accurate, transparent data. Ask them to copy you on their email to Commissioner Levine, whose public, government email address is: mark.levine@vermont.gov.

Tell your legislators we want data reported on the Vermont Health Department dashboard that includes:

  1. Deaths according to the number of vaccines individuals have received: zero, one, two, three, and four or more doses.
  2. Report covid as the primary cause of death separate from second, third, and fourth causes.
  3.  Number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths with “unknown vaccination status”
  4. Comparative data of inpatient and ICU occupancy on a monthly basis, reported by year for the past ten years.
  5. The percent of infectious disease inpatient and ICU occupancy by month/year for the past ten years.
  6. Separate out-of-state inpatients, ICU, and deaths in Vermont hospitals from Vermont residents. (If an out-of-state patient is admitted to a Vermont hospital and/or dies in a Vermont hospital, is that counted as a Vermont death? And is it also counted as a covid death for the patient’s resident state?)
  7. Track and report Covid-19 deaths and hospital discharges according to treatment protocols: Remdesivir, all the different types of monoclonal antibodies, and all other specific treatments.

It is time to hold our legislature accountable in an organized manner. We must not allow them to continue to cling to and drive legislation based upon dubious data.

Ask your representatives and senators to send an email to Health Commissioner Levine  by Monday, January 31, 2022, and let me know if your legislators do not respond. Send me a copy of the email your legislators sent to Commissioner Levine, and I will compile a record of legislators who are concerned about the accuracy of data and agreed to follow through on our request, and I will report it to Vermont Daily Chronicle.

I can be contacted at: tedm@gmavt.net

The author is a ‘retired’ home-school parent living in Addison County.

16 replies »

  1. We can call legislators until the proverbial cows come home, but after what we all have witnessed over especially the past three or so years – government is NOT to be trusted on ANY level within ANY realm.

    The U.S. government on all levels has deteriorated so vastly that to state we live in a “free” country is essentially a misnomer at this juncture.

    And this is no error or mistake or oversight on the part of this governing body and particularly here in VT – as we see specifically how absolute power corrupts absolutely. The voice of the people matters not.

    So despite the general unhappiness & dissatisfaction with the status quo by the majority, the blatant deceit, the ludicrously high taxes and poor economy, low scholastic achievement in schools, our dangerous & deadly yet intentionally created border crisis, our rampant & government-enabled drug culture, and our climbing violent crime rates…….the majority of Vermonters will probably go back to vote for yet more from the same group of pathetic elected officials come November. And the November thereafter.

    You can lead a horse – or a horse’s ass – to water, but you can’t make him drink.

    • Ask them anyway. Ask them three times. Give them a date by which you request a response. Hold their feet to the fire. If they do not respond after three times, then by default they support the lack of transparency. I want a record of their response or non-response. It will be published and shared widely. I do not agree people will vote for these same people again if people with integrity run against them. Most people are whispering behind their masks that none of this makes sense any more. Stay positive.

  2. How about data on ten years of non covid hospitalizations up to present and prevelant conditions leading to hospitalization. In addition, data that shows current non covid hospitalizations and “vaccination ” status specifying pharmaceutical brand in production of injections.

  3. ““We (UVMMC) routinely add vaccination status to patient charts/EMRs, whether unvaccinated, partially, or fully vaccinated. If the patient was not vaccinated by one of our providers we won’t have access to that information unless the patient volunteers it, but otherwise – it’s not difficult and we do it all of the time. “….What about ASKING a patient?? It doesnt surprise me in regards to her “JenPsaki” answer when you realize how Completely Leftist she is in her views on anything . Those can be found at https://www.maricordes.org/issues/

    Don’t expect transparency from anyone in the legislature or VT Health. It’s foreign to them.

  4. Here’s an even better one. Why don’t they announce with each ‘death’ the ACTUAL cause, age and comorbidities? Why not also include the PCR multiplier that was used to ‘confirm’ the cause was covid?

    Why? Because the truth hurts and they don’t want people waking up to this scam. It’s just a bad nursing home flu and always has been.

    • Actually, the ‘virus’ has never been isolated/proven to exist. And the PCR test does NOT detect infection. It’s all a sham. The nursing homes are full of sick, elderly people to begin with. Most die within 7 months of admittance. And let’s not forget the Remdesivir which is considered a ‘kill shot’ for the elderly in particular.

      • True. It is still valuable to contact our legislators about the false data. It gives them, and leadership and spokespersons at the Department of Health, an opportunity to “come clean,” for the sake of their own souls.

    • You LIE.

      It is 100% provably accurate when I say that this most likely man altered virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic is NOT “just a bad nursing home flu.”

      You can make up your own false reality, but don’t LIE to others.

      It makes you a LIAR.

  5. They CAN provide the data they just WON’T..I’ve requested their “guidelines” regarding Monoclonal’s as I know someone who was denied them FOUR TIMES & left to languish until bad enough to warrant a life-flight to Dartmouth then ventilated & barely survived,,1st “they” said they might not have “met the criteria” so WHO sets the “guidelines” & “criteria”? Was it Vt.-DOH? The local hospital? A directive from D.C.? Then we’ve heard that the MaB’s (Monoclonals), like the early vaccinations, were “race-based” w/priority given to BIPOC’s. But NOW we have the FDA nixing MaB’s completely claiming their “ineffective” against the Omni Variant? Really? Are “they” testing for Omni Vs. Delta widely? From the beginning we’ve had a LOT of obfuscation and hypocrisy starting w/closures of smaller (“non-essential”) businesses that made NO sense acceding to the “science”. most glaringly shown by allowing BLM protests/marches yet discouraging church attendance & other gatherings? From the beginning I’ve questioned Scott/Levine about the LEGALITY of this “all hazards event” and NOW they’re slow-rolling data that will SHOW their ineptitude & futility of their “mandates”, of course! They will NEVER admit a mistake let alone 2 YEARS of them, so just hide, bury, & spread the data that proves them wrong. Should we expect anything different?

  6. Vermont is a cesspool of corruption. There is no way those guilty and involved will ever come clean. It’s time to take action such as they are in Canada.

  7. Ask them anyway. Ask them three times. Give them a date by which you request a response. Hold their feet to the fire. If they do not respond after three times, then by default they support the lack of transparency. I want a record of their response or non-response. It will be published and shared widely. I do not agree people will vote for these same people again if people with integrity run against them. Most people are whispering behind their masks that none of this makes sense any more. Stay positive.

  8. In this digital age there is no reason for any information that belongs to the public should not be publicly available in a digital format. This includes all information that is subject to FOIA. Regarding the matter at hand, the raw data is fine or even better. Information can be filtered, arranged, and analyzed to favor certain conclusions. The old adage fits, figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. If the information is available real time or close to real time, assertions of government officials can readily be “fact checked” against the actual data.

    FOIA is good intentioned, but lacks teeth. Government can stall almost indefinitely. When concerned citizens spend their own money in law suits to get the information requested through FOIA, the government spends public money (i.e., the citizens own money) to fight it. Then, when the government is forced to provide the information that the public owns, it stretches out the release of the information over weeks or months. Often then it may be heavily redacted, necessitating more court battles. We need to stop fighting ourselves. What data now-a-days is not digitized in some way? Public owned data, should be made public as soon as it is generated. We have the technology, let’s do it.

    The existence of FOIA is a sad commentary on our culture. Its purpose rests on the premise that someone is hiding something. Men love darkness because their deeds are evil. Those who love truth must not live by lies.

    • Excellent point. And they are hiding something: that is clear. By many of us calling upon our legislators to demand accurate data from the Department of Health, they know that we know that they are currently making decisions based upon false data. They must have the opportunity to “come clean” and be on the right side of this spiritual battle.

  9. I’ve contacted my legislative representatives. Two dismissive responses. Silence from the others. They don’t care what we think or have to say. We have no representation. They only serve special interests and themselves.

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