THERE IS NO COVID STATE OF EMERGENCY IN VERMONT, AND THERE NEVER WAS ONE
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
By: Laurie McIntosh
Flattening the curve refers to the goal of slowing the rate of infections to a point that doesn’t overwhelm local hospitals and health care providers.
Executive Order EO-01-20 (dated March 13th), Declaration of State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 and National Guard Call Out declaring a State of Emergency in Vermont in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and ordering initial mitigation provisions to slow the spread of the virus.
The governor stated in this EO, “if no mitigation steps are taken, COVID-19 would likely spread in Vermont at a rate similar to the rate of spread in other states and countries, and the number of persons requiring medical care could exceed locally available resources.” Also stated in this EO, “we now know that while most individuals affected by COVID-19 will experience mild flu-like symptoms, some individuals, especially those who are elderly or already have severe underlying chronic health conditions will have more serious symptoms and require hospitalization.”
Vermont COVID Deaths
There have been just 58 deaths in Vermont. The population of Vermont is approximately 624,000 (2019). Given the 58 deaths, the death rate for Vermont is .00009.
Of the 58 deaths, 55 occurred in March through May (13 in March, 34 in April, and 8 in May) and there was one death each in June, July, and August. Of the 58 deaths, at least* 32 occurred in nursing homes, at least 11 in Burlington Health & Rehab, which had been ranked by regulators as one of Vermont’s worst nursing homes in 2019, and at least another 21 deaths occurred at Birchwood Terrace. It is vital to recognize that, according to the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, the median life expectancy in a nursing home is 5 months. A 93 year old man in Ludlow accounted for another geriatric death, and one death of the 58 was a NY resident who came to a VT hospital.
*The author uses the term “at least” in several instances in the preceding paragraph because although a reasonable person would assume that it is highly likely that additional deaths occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, it appears that a ban on public reporting of such deaths may have gone into effect in late April. Many hours of research did not result in a single news article about further nursing home deaths and according to AARP, Vermont is one of several states that refuses to provide any public reporting of nursing home COVID deaths.
Available Medical Resources in Vermont
There are 1,468 hospital beds in Vermont. Of these, 300 are designated as COVID beds and 800 are designated surge capacity. According to The COVID Tracking Project published by The Atlantic, Vermont’s single day peak hospitalizations was 77 on April 11th. (Oddly, the day prior there were 33 hospitalizations and the day following there were 34.) Typical daily COVID hospitalizations over the months ranged from 10 - 35.
The state spent $3M on 112 ventilators to bring the total available in Vermont to 265. According to The COVID Tracking Project, at no time between March 6 and September 18 were any COVID patients put on a ventilator. In fact, during this period, only two COVID patients even required ICU beds, and that occurred for just three days from May 5 - 7.
Temporary medical facilities are reimbursable under FEMA’s COVID Major Disaster Declaration. VTDigger reported on March 22nd, that officials were planning to construct eight temporary surge sites at auditoriums, hotels, field houses, and colleges, each with space for 50 patients. In early April, the Vermont National Guard constructed a 400-bed medical surge facility at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. Given the fact that Vermont already had 300 COVID hospital beds available, and that the peak hospitalization capped at a one day high of 77 patients, it is likely that these facilities saw little, if any use.
The metrics for determination of a COVID state of emergency examined thus far clearly indicate that we are not now and were not during the past six months in a state of emergency. But what about the growing number of cases? To understand the implications of case numbers being breathlessly reported by every mainstream media outlet, we need to examine both the test itself and the way that test results have been counted and reported. There has been an extraordinary amount of negligence and deceit on the part of state and national government health officials, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding every aspect of COVID testing. That topic alone merits its own examination, but for the purposes of this article, here are just a few areas of particular concern.
The Inherent Flaw of the PCR Test
Dr. Kary Mullis developed PCR technology in the 1990s and won a Nobel prize for his efforts. According to James Herer, who wrote a Health People article entitled Coronavirus: The Truth about PCR Test Kit from the Inventor and Other Experts, “PCR, simply put, is a thermal cycling method that is used to make up to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, making it large enough to study. PCR is an indispensable tool with a broad variety of applications including biomedical research and criminal forensics.” However, Dr. Mullis was adamant that PCR cannot be used to diagnose infectious diseases. According to Jason Hommel, a researcher and author,“The problem is the [PCR] test is known not to work.” He went on to say, “any minute contaminations in the sample will also be amplified leading to potentially gross errors of discovery.” So the most widely used tool for detecting COVID cases is inherently flawed and unsuitable for the task, causing tens of thousands of cases or more of false results.
Inherent to the design of PCR technology is the amplification factor, which may vary widely from one test manufacturer to another and from one lab analysis to another, resulting in wildly skewed test results. The New York Times recently suggested that “The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.” According to Pam Popper of The Wellness Forum, in a single day, 22 Florida laboratories reported 100% of their COVID-19 tests as positive, which is statistically impossible. NBC News reported on September 9 that coronavirus testing at a laboratory in Boston was suspended after investigators discovered nearly 400 false positive test results; and when a Florida Department of Health report indicated that Orlando Health had a 98% positivity rate, FOX35 News investigated and found that according to a hospital representative, their actual positivity rate was 9.4%.
The Inherent Deceit in Publishing Test Results
The embarrassingly misguided decision to use PCR technology to diagnose COVID-19 is compounded by the brazenly illegitimate methods used to count and report COVID-19 positive tests. Recall that Dr. Birx on several occasions stated that the CDC would use the most liberal method possible to count COVID deaths. Consider also that a number of states, including Vermont, were discovered counting multiple positive tests of one patient as multiple positive cases; i.e., when someone, after an initial positive result, was retested, sometimes multiple times, and received additional positive test results, each test result was being counted as a separate case. While one could try to brush aside this form of misreporting as an innocent but incompetent error, it is much harder to brush aside the positive test results of people who were never tested at all. Numerous reports from all over the country cite people who signed up for a COVID test, but after seeing the long waiting lines decided to go home. Nonetheless, shortly afterwards, many of them received letters indicating that they had tested positive. The most bizarre case was of a woman in Tennessee who died in February, but whose family received a letter addressed to her indicating that she had tested positive in June, from beyond the grave! The prize for the largest scale “error” in reporting is taken by TRICARE, which, according to an article on Military.com, sent out letters to over 600,000 patients of that military healthcare system, inviting them, erroneously identified as COVID-19 survivors, to donate blood for research on the disease.
COVID-Positive Without a Test
If the test method and reporting debacles aren’t bad enough, consider this. According to a chart on the CDC website that illustrates the more than one dozen ways to be considered positive, a person does not even have to be tested to be presumed COVID-positive. For example, it is sufficient to live in a high transmission zone, attend a public gathering of more than 10 people, and have the sniffles. It started with death counts and the manipulation of death certificates - people who had died of one thing, but who also had tested positive were counted as a COVID death and people who had died without any testing at all, could be “presumed” to be a COVID death; and now the CDC has provided a “toolbox” to local and state health officials to create whatever case number scenarios they deem necessary to maintain their stranglehold on a fearful and largely compliant populace.
There Is No State of Emergency
By any reasonable metric, it is clear that there is not a COVID-related state of emergency in Vermont. With a death rate of .00009, low hospitalization rates, unused ventilators and temporary field hospitals, and the majority of deaths occurring among extremely frail and elderly nursing home residents, it is clear to even the most casual, but clear-eyed observer that there is absolutely no basis for any mandated restrictions whatsoever. The governor has already caused irreparable harm to children who have been deprived of the full breadth of educational services, to the elderly who died or are dying locked down in nursing homes and assisted living facilities as virtual prisoners and to their families who are denied the right to visit, to hug, and to provide comfort to them in their final days; to small business owners and employees who have had to shutter their businesses or reduce capacity to a point of barely surviving; and to parents who are struggling to juggle drastic changes in the workplace, virtual learning or homeschooling, lack of access to childcare, reduced wages and the uncertainty of when, or even if, the governor will rescind the baseless, and one could argue, unlawful COVID restrictions.
Perhaps, after all, there is a state of emergency in Vermont - that is we, as families, communities, and a state are on the brink of economic and social collapse. It is past time to end this COVID madness.
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