EAST DERRY, N.H.—As expected, Attorney General John Formella’s memo released today supports Gov. Sununu’s position that accepting $27 million in federal funds includes “boilerplate language” that does not require New Hampshire to do anything unordinary, but RebuildNH leaders contend that the “narrow set of guidance and directives” admitted by the Attorney General in his memo is precisely what the State of New Hampshire ought to reject.
“The fact of the matter is that these funds are paying for 13 new government agents whose sole purpose will be to convince people to change their minds who don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine and who don’t want their private information in a government database accessible to the federal government,” said Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of RebuildNH. “New Hampshire should not be in the propaganda business, plain and simple. We also should not be expanding the Immunization Information System without first making sure that it is compliant with state law and Part 1, Article 2B of the Constitution. I also wonder whether it makes sense to accept such a large sum of money that the Department of Health and Human Services can use as a slush fund for who knows what?”
Among other positions, these federal funds are paying for a “public health program manager” whose job is to “oversee planning and implementing the NH vaccine confidence strategy for COVID-19,” including “increasing access to and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination” and “promoting campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy and promote vaccine confidence.” A “Program Specialist III” will assist this person with increasing “vaccine confidence and ensure messaging targets individuals with different levels of health/digital/science literacy.” Five “onboarding specialists” will onboard more than 400 NH vaccine providers, who will be responsible for “increasing vaccine access and uptake,” developing/disseminating vaccine education/communication campaigns and providing temporary staffing.”
“I think it goes without saying that everyone who wants the COVID-19 vaccine has already taken it or they know where to go to get one, but those of us who have not accepted the vaccine are not going to be swayed by wasteful government propaganda,” Manuse said. “It is frankly irrelevant that the state has accepted money with similar language that contractually requires acceptance of ‘existing and/or future directives’ from the federal government, among the other requirements of the contract. What matters is that we stop this unnecessary federal overreach into our state affairs.”
RebuildNH, also known as ReopenNH, is made up of concerned individuals devoted to getting New Hampshire back to work through a restoration of balance and reason in state government.