Gov. Phil Scott delivered a stinging rebuke to coronavirus skeptics Friday, saying those who deny the science behind the state’s response to the pandemic “care more about what they want to do rather than what they need to do to help protect others.”
“The skeptics are right. They can do what they want,” Scott said. “But, please, don’t call it patriotic. Don’t pretend it’s about freedom. Real patriots serve and fight for all, whether they agree with them or not.”
Scott’s comments came a day after Vermont recorded its highest single-day case, with 120. Shortly before he took the podium, the Department of Health reported another 95 new cases, bringing the total for the state since March to 3,105.
The governor also addressed perceived “inconsistencies” in the state’s response to the pandemic. Most recently, Scott issued an order prohibiting multi-family social gatherings, inside or out. Meanwhile, he has so far continued to allow restaurants, gyms and other business to remain open, albeit under their own restrictions.
Scott said state data show that the health and safety protocols at those businesses “are, for the most part, working.”
“We’re just not seeing these type of outbreaks linked back to people dining at restaurants or working out at gyms.”
Rather, the governor said, contact tracers have found that more than 70 percent of the new cases reported since October 1 are linked to social events.
“We are seeing record growth,” he said. “And this growth is not because of tourists. Not because of restaurants. Not because of schools.
“It’s because people continue to get together with other adults. Multiple households, inside and outside, in situations usually involving alcohol, where they stop taking precautions.
And then they go into work. Sends their kids to school. Bring another neighbor to the nursing home and spread the virus to these spots.”
This story will be updated.
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