Innkeepers are a busy bunch. To save you time, VLA attends Governor Scott’s press conferences and takes notes for you. Below is the summary from 7/12/22.
Governor Scott and his administration reviewed mental health services available to Vermonters during today’s press conference. The new National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will be available for Vermonters to call beginning July 16.
Commissioner Levine said that the federal government will be deciding in the very near future whether to recommend an additional booster shot for those under age 50.
- Gov. Scott:
- Focusing on mental health today.
- Tracking mental health data.
- Many Vermonters feeling despair, stress, and hopelessness – but not might rise to severity of accessing mental health services.
- (Lists pandemic, reversal of women’s rights, attempted coup, rising gas prices, gun violence, war in Ukraine.) Taking a toll on the strongest among us – it’s ok not to feel ok. Ok to take time to take care of yourself. A lot of good out there, always reason for hope.
- Feeling optimistic easier said than done.
- Secretary Samuelson:
- 1 in 5 adults suffering mental health problems.
- Deputy Commissioner Krompf:
- New National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988 – beginning July 16. Can access free and confidential care.
- Two on One – Services and support locally.
- Pathways support line – peer counseling.
- Crisis Text Line – Text VT to 74141
- Community Mental Health Agencies some of best resources.
- Katina Idle, Lamoille County Mental Health:
- (Discusses why it makes sense people are having a tough time)
- (Makes suggestions for community and self care)
- Lists resources for business owners, schools (see Dept. of Mental Health Page)
- Scott – Increase in crime exacerbated by the epidemic. Drug activity is a driver.
- Krompf – Will get anonymous data from the lifeline.
- Q – report on “boys club culture” at the National Guard. Scott – Change takes time. Appreciate effort on talking about it. Thankful for leadership of Gen. Knight.
- Scott – Well positioned in Vermont and Prop 5 (re: federal protection for providers and abortion when life of mother threatened).
- Q – Do you think it will be a tough campaign for Prop 5? Scott – I think it will pass. But politics are fickle and we’ll see what happens. I view it as freedom, and others may describe it as a right.
- Q – Is Vermont going to be a battleground for national interest groups? Scott – I don’t know.
- Q – Rising infections from BA5 nationally – is the health department going to make recommendations on boosters?
- Scott – I’m still maintaining the course set previously, waiting for booster. Once fall hits in Vermont, I believe we’ll see an uptick. May make change in vaccine for due to variants. Going from pandemic to endemic – it changes every year, like the flu.
- Levine – Northeast currently having the lowest number of cases. Rest of the nation having much more of an uptick. BA5 is here – about 50%. Not seeing super high uptick in disease activity. Booster for those under 50 being considered on federal level – likely to be decided in a number of days. Main reason is waning immunity. And new variant is immune-evasive. Vermonters who have had two boosters already should plan to get one in the fall. Especially if it’s new one. View as annual coronavirus vaccine shot.
- Q – Mandates have been dropped – what kind of risk are people at?
- Levine – This is highly transmissible. Variant is going to cause a lot of illness around the country – but not yet seeing in this country major major increases in hospitalizations and deaths – although they’ve increased some. In Vermont – hospitalizations stable, deaths low. People need to pay attention to degree of which they have a vulnerable person in their life. Should influence their own behavior. Also don’t have a lot of information about long Covid with the new variant. Think it’s decreased by being vaccinated. People can mask as they wish.
- Q – Rollout of vaccines for kids 5 and under?
- Levine – As of yesterday – 2,200 have received first dose. 50% in health care setting. Abundant vaccine still available. 26,000 eligible. Three to four times national rate. Many will likely get it as part of their general health care.
- Q – Path forward for regulation of health care system for cost control?
- Scott – Relatively reluctantly signed bill for $4 million study for GMCB. We all have to work on this together – going to be a huge lift. Providing health care at a cost that people can afford and when they need it. Problems exacerbated by inflation and the pandemic. Will be working with GMCB and hospitals and legislature. Don’t think anyone has the answer at this time. Will be two new members of the GMCB.
- Scott – Governor’s Cup this week – NASCAR driver will attempt to master Thunder Road – haven’t been successful yet. Scott intending to race. Haven’t been successful this year at all. Attempting to qualify.
- Scott – State gas tax holiday – was floated by Biden Administration. We’d have to backfill it and get legislature involved – would have to be special session or into new session. We use that money to leverage for federal funding, so we need it. Think there’s other ways to provide relief. Had proposed a broader tax package this past session, but thrilled that they took up anything. We’ll see what happens next year. Folks are struggling.