Gov. Phil Scott responded to criticism of his decision to prioritize Vermonters of color in a press release on April 5, calling the attacks “vitriolic and inappropriate.”
“Unfortunately, the legacy of racism in America, and in Vermont, still drives a lot of anger and fear,” Scott said. The attacks were in response to the new vaccination eligibility group created for BIPOC residents that Scott implemented on April 1.
Hundreds of messages against the policy had been received by health officials and Scott’s office, although no threats against the health department have been recorded, Scott’s press secretary Jason Maulucci told VTDigger.
Several conservative politicians and media personalities also expressed their discontent publicly on social media. “This is blatantly racist,” U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said in a tweet quoting Gov. Scott’s April 1 announcement.
Similarly, alt-right political activist Jack Posobiec called Gov. Scott’s statement “a felony.”
“Yuck,” conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted in response to Gov. Scott’s announcement.
In his press release, Gov. Scott emphasized that the policy was a response to the lagging vaccination rates of BIPOC Vermonters, as well as the increased Covid-19 prevalence and hospitalizations among Vemonters of color.
“This is a population of our neighbors already facing health equity disadvantages as a result of historical inequities and injustices,” Scott said.
Read Scott’s full press release here.
Lucy Townend '22 is a Managing Editor alongside Abigail Chang.
She previously served as a senior section editor, a local editor, and a copy editor.
Townend is majoring in International Politics and Economics, studying French throughout her years at Middlebury and is planning on completing a thesis focused on income inequality and regime change.
This previous summer, Townend interned as a private banking analyst at a mid-sized bank in Chicago and plans to continue her work there after graduation.