Fellow Republicans Reject NH Governor’s Bid to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine

By Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.
October 14, 2021 Updated: October 14, 2021

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) failed to garner a single supporting vote from the four Republicans who make up the state’s five-member Executive Council in his bid for $27 million in funding to promote the CCP virus vaccine in the Granite State.

The only supporting vote came from the sole Democrat who serves on the council.

Republican Councilor Dave Wheeler, who has been a supporter of Sununu on other issues, raised the question of acquired natural immunity in his dissent to the funding bill to promote the COVID-19 shot.

“We talk about science all the time, but we ignore the fact that people have natural immunity from already having COVID,” Wheeler said.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Sununu was quick to respond.

“The vote showed a reckless disregard for the lives we are losing while they turn away the tools our state needs to fight and win this battle against COVID,” the governor said.

Sununu charged that the concerns voiced by opponents to the funding initiative were “based on fantasy.”

Sununu was also taken to task by executive councilors for not following suit with other Republican governors who have outlawed the use of vaccine mandates to deny employment.

“Will you stand up like the governor of Texas and tell private [businesses] they can’t fire people?” Wheeler asked Sununu.

“You want the government to tell private businesses who to hire and fire?”Sununu responded. “That isn’t even socialist. That is completely un-American, sir.”

In 2018, Sununu signed a state law banning discrimination based on gender identity including in the workplace. Sununu remarked at the time that “Discrimination–in any form–is unacceptable and runs contrary to New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die Spirit.”

During the meeting, nine people in the audience were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct including a mother holding a young child, her husband, and a 70-year old woman from Nashua who was charged with resisting arrest. A video of the arrest posted on Facebook shows she was sitting when state police approached her and forcibly led her away. People in the background can be heard yelling “fascists” at the NH troopers while others around the room can be heard shouting “they weren’t doing anything wrong.”

Terese Grinnell, a registered nurse and also among those arrested at Wednesday’s meeting, believes Sununu is trying to backdoor his way into creating a means to trace residents who are not vaccinated. The governor’s proposal includes $10 million for a digital database of each COVID-19 vaccination administered in the state.

“Goliath fell with a stone,” said Grinnell, “we have to keep just doing what’s right, keep showing up and coming together and deciding what we the people we want for our children and being tenacious about that.”

Bussiere has been a lead organizer against COVID-19 mandates in New Hampshire.

The NH Executive Council was slated to take a vote on Sununu’s $27 million proposal earlier in the month. However, a well-attended protest Bussiere and others organized in opposition to the funding along with mask mandates prompted the council to cancel the meeting last minute.

The meeting held on Wednesday was held at the NH police training facility. Normally, NH Executive Council meetings are held at the statehouse in Concord.

A month earlier in September, a large crowd bearing signs like “Stop The Tyranny” gathered outside the statehouse in protest of COVID mandates.

They voiced their criticism of Gov. Sununu for not taking a more aggressive position against Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate like Republican cohorts Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbot have done.

Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.