President Joe Biden on Thursday relaunched the council of governors, an advisory board of governors, key Cabinet secretaries and top administration officials focused on strengthening federal and state collaboration on major national security issues. One of the new appointees is Vermont’s governor.
The latest COVID briefing by Vermont administration officials this week provided information for individuals who may not yet be vaccinated. There were also questions about a lawsuit filed in an attempt to maintain a pandemic program to aid the vulnerable.
During the weekly COVID-19 briefing today, Vermont officials reported that the state continues to lead the nation in several metrics including the number of residents who have been vaccinated. But with a special session of the Legislature scheduled this week, most questions focused on the governor’s expectations of whether his vetoes will be sustained.
Vermont’s COVID restrictions have been lifted and its State of Emergency has expired, allowing the state to revert, for the most part, to pre-pandemic normalcy. But Governor Phil Scott is continuing efforts to vaccinate residents.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed the 2022 state budget this week. The fiscal plan is being lauded by advocates as the state allocates federal COVID relief funds to address infrastructure, environmental and social equity needs.
Vermont is on pace to reach its reopening goal ahead of schedule. During Friday’s COVID-19 briefing Governor Phil Scott offered an incentive to get the state fully reopened before the current July 4th goal.
On Thursday the CDC eased mask rules for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A focus of Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s latest briefing on Friday morning was the state’s response to the announcement.
Vermont’s regular Friday COVID briefing included discussion on how the state will respond to a pending federal decision regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause. Later in the day, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced after a panel of experts voted that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, and its benefits outweigh the known risks.
Administration officials presenting Vermont’s regular Friday COVID-19 update discussed an increase in cases among younger residents. The governor also responded to a move by the House Speaker to deal with the state’s ailing pension fund.