UPDATE 11/2/2021: Commissioner Shibinette has provided “answers” to these questions. Please comment below.
By Andrew J. Manuse
As a political appointee, N.H. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Lori Shibinette has been leading the state’s COVID-19 response by attempting to make herself appear credible while deflecting all criticism, and it’s time to start asking questions.
We’ve all heard about the number of cases, the number of deaths, the threat of overburdened hospitals, and even statistics separating male and female outcomes, but this type of information only gives the appearance of value. Good public health policy doesn’t only consider these metrics while neglecting others. The information’s only purpose, it seems, is to create the appearance of authority and thoughtfulness while manipulating the public into hysteria. The Department is ignoring data from peer-reviewed studies that counter their prevailing narrative, while seemingly ignorant that they are not presenting a full data set.
On Sept. 17 in a meeting with the legislative Fiscal Committee, Commissioner Shibinette said, “What we do know, when we look at our hospitalizations: that 90-plus percent of people that (sic) are hospitalized with serious illness are unvaccinated. That’s a fact.” How can Commissioner Shibinette present this undocumented data as fact when the Department has not required the complete and thorough collection of data?
In contrast to data available in Britain and Israel, which is highly regarded and granular, New Hampshire has not done due diligence to ensure its data is complete. Here are some questions the Department needs to answer to reveal the state’s blind spots to the public:
- What written directives has DHHS issued that require all patients—both in-patient and out-patient—to be COVID tested and asked their vaccination status?
- What written directives has DHHS issued advising that vaccinated and unvaccinated members of the public be COVID tested in the same manner?
- What written directives has DHHS issued requiring hospitals to report the vaccination status and infection status of all patients?
- Has DHHS mandated that all patients regardless of vaccination status be tested at the same cycle thresholds for COVID-19?
Similarly, the Department hasn’t insisted on policies that will give a full picture of the risks of the COVID-19 vaccination. Here’s some more questions:
- Is it possible that DHHS is improperly categorizing COVID-19 deaths considering that a CDC public statement as well as subsequent morbidity reports note that people are considered unvaccinated until 14 days after their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine dose or 14 days after one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine?
- What guidance has DHHS issued to ensure that doctors and other healthcare workers can properly identify COVID-19 vaccine adverse reactions?
- What directives has DHHS issued requiring hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccine adverse reactions to the federal VAERS database?
The unfortunate reality is we do not have the statewide data to support the Department’s myopic vaccination push, either. Meanwhile, DHHS continues to ignore the totality of public health. The vast majority of COVID-19 deaths are among those with chronic health conditions, those who are obese, and those who are Vitamin D deficient. Here’s some more questions:
- What guidance has the Department provided to the public about good health measures such as diet, exercise, and vitamin supplementation, to avoid serious complications from COVID-19?
- What percentage of COVID-19 outreach spending does the Department use to inform citizens about the importance of proactive vitamin intake—Vitamins C and D in particular—and maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)?
In addition, recent research makes it clear that early treatment of COVID-19 saves lives. What guidance has the Department released that encourages medical professionals to treat COVID-19 early and consider off-label treatments?
While the Department is failing to pull together meaningful data and provide good public health recommendations, the Commissioner is doing a great job trampling the rights of New Hampshire citizens by violating a new Constitutional provision that protects privacy and fanning the flames of discrimination against people who choose not to vaccinate. Here are some related questions:
- Are recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine tracked by the N.H. Immunization Information System or can they opt-out as required by law?
- What does opt-out mean to the Department? Does opt-out mean that an individual is truly removed from the database or does it mean the person’s record is updated with an opt-out tag?
- What written directives has DHHS issued to ensure that all COVID-19 vaccine administrators are offering citizens of New Hampshire the opportunity to opt-out of the vaccine registry?
- Considering vaccinated individuals can contract and spread COVID-19, why is the Department discriminating against unvaccinated individuals, even recommending their segregation?
- Why is guidance from the Department to public schools recommending quarantine procedures only for the unvaccinated?
The gaps in state data makes me wonder whether the Department is simply serving as a conduit for top-down directives from our Centers for Disease Control overlords. If this is true, we’re seeing yet another area where the federal government is flexing its muscle and trying to erase New Hampshire state sovereignty. New Hampshire deserves better than a puppet state bureaucracy.
Andrew J. Manuse is chairman of RebuildNH, which is also known as ReopenNH, a grassroots group devoted to restoring the rule of law and rebuilding the economy.