News in Brief: Gov. Scott responds to criticism of BIPOC vaccination policy

By Lucy Townend

Public Domain
Governor Scott recently announced that all Vermonters will be eligible for a vaccine starting on April 19, with out-of-state students possibly eligible on April 30.

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.