Forum, Feb. 17: Beware of vaccine scams

Published: 2/16/2021 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 2/16/2021 10:00:14 PM
Beware of vaccine scams

The FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Center for Medicare and Medicare Services are warning the public of fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.

One such scheme suggests that scammers could be acquiring empty or used COVID-19 vaccine vials to fraudulently offer fake or counterfeit vaccines. In response, the Department of Defense released a recommendation to vaccine administration sites to destroy empty vials and product packaging.

The following are indictors of potential fraudulent activity:

■ You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.

■ You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.

■ You are called about getting the vaccine and asked for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card.

■ You see advertisements for vaccines through social media, email or online.

■ You receive telephone calls or door-to-door visits from unsolicited or unknown sources or a phone call stating you are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

■ You are offered to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine.

If you feel you have been the victim of fraudulent activity related to COVID-19, please report it to:

■ HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS

■ FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI

■ CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE

The staff at the ServiceLink Office in Lebanon (603-448-1558) or in Littleton (603-444-4498) will be happy to assist you as well.



The writer is Medicare coordinator for Grafton County ServiceLink.

A better situation for Hartford

I am running for a seat on the Hartford Selectboard. In that context, a Hartford resident asked: “How will the board members correct/discipline their own when another board member acts outside of the rules that apply to every other business or person in town?”

This is a great question about accountability, a challenge we’ve made progress on. But it is a struggle that goes back many years. I think we need to talk about the culture that exists in town government, reflect on how that culture is perpetuated, and be clear about where we want to go. Only then can we hope to plot a course out of this situation and into a better one.

What do I mean by a “better” situation?

The Strategic Vision for the Future of Hartford is an excellent first attempt to map out a path to the place we need to get to. It needs continuous revision, and one of the first amendments our new board should contribute is a thorough characterization of municipal government officials, employees and processes that are fair, just and easily tracked by all residents at all times. The steps to achieve this level of accessibility and transparency will require extensive professional development for Selectboard members and town employees alike, deep and frequent review of existing policies and ordinances (so that everyone understands the rules and expectations), and a complete overhaul of the system by which we store, update and publish town policies and ordinances for the benefit of all residents.

This must be done within a framework and a perspective of equity for all, taking into account the ways that policies, assumptions and biases have been to the disadvantage and sometimes outright exploitation of women, people of color, seniors, people who have been incarcerated, people with disabilities, immigrants, queer, gay, lesbian and transgender people, as well as other specifically disenfranchised groups. For that aspect of this work, we need to take seriously the recommendations of the Inclusivity & Equity Strategic Plan, because it will be the foundation for building a fair, equitable and transparent local government.


White River Junction

Sam Eaton right for Enfield

I am writing to endorse Sam Eaton for the Enfield Selectboard. He has served the town of Enfield as both a Budget Committee member and chair over the past 10 years. He has also served on the Capital Improvement Program Committee and so has a comprehensive understanding of the town of Enfield’s finances and infrastructure.

Sam is a very thoughtful, well-spoken public servant who asks department heads well thought-out questions during Budget Committee meetings. When answering budget questions during Enfield Town Meetings, it is obvious that he is well-informed about all budget issues and has done his homework. He is always cognizant of the effect of budget decisions on Enfield taxpayers while still moving Enfield forward.

I do not know him personally but have found him very professional when addressing both Enfield citizens and other elected officials. After a conversation with him, I believe he will not try to dictate or interfere with local School Board decisions and will show respect to elected School Board members and our neighboring towns’ elected officials.

Sam Eaton is the right Selectboard candidate for Enfield at this point in time. He will weigh the benefits of moving forward versus placing a hold on planned projects and will listen to constituents’ concerns during this pandemic.

I will be voting for Sam Eaton on March 9, and hope you will also.



GOP attack on public safety

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Safety Committee heard three bills on Feb. 5 that would make it easier to shoot people with impunity in New Hampshire, and each bill drew lopsided responses from New Hampshire residents.

House Bill 81, to expand the use of deadly force in non-life-threatening situations: 862 voters indicated to the committee that they oppose this bill, while 79 communicated support for it (a ratio of 11 to 1 against). In spite of that level of constituent opposition, the Republican committee members voted an “ought to pass” recommendation to the full House, over the unanimous Democratic committee votes against.

HB 145, authorizing the use of a gun even when there are safe alternatives to walk away or de-escalate — even when the shooter started the confrontation — garnered 888 opponents and only six supporters (148 to 1). The committee voted, 18-0, “inexpedient to legislate,” killing it for this session.

HB 197, expanding where and when deadly force can be used, including potentially justifying shooting at unarmed protestors, heard from 971 against and 79 in support (12 to 1 opposed). The Criminal Justice and Safety Committee voted it out, 11–9, “ought to pass” by the full House.

Let’s watch to see how these “stand your ground” bills fare before the full House. Our Legislature flipped to a 213-187 Republican majority in the last election, and they’re clearly on a warpath against public safety.



So where is the ‘unity’?

There was no reason for the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump as he is no longer in office. By impeaching President Trump, the Democrats impeached the 74-plus million Americans who voted for him. The Democrats’ intent is to silence them, put them in their place and show them who’s in charge. It’s a warning.

President Joe Biden has signed more than 25 executive orders, as a dictator would, undoing most of what President Trump had accomplished. Is this “unity”?

There is now more division than ever before, red vs. blue. Jesus said in Mark 3:25 “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” This country will implode from the hate.



GOP must denounce Trump

President Donald Trump uniquely inspired and controlled the attack on the Capitol, and he must be held accountable. Not only did he encourage the crowd to come to Washington, he then urged them to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” He clearly incited them to go after members of Congress and even his vice president, much like King Henry II when he said, “Will nobody rid me of this turbulent priest?” We all know that the king’s knights then went off and murdered his former friend, Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury.

Trump incited the attack on the Capitol, and nobody but Trump could have stopped it. He did not. Vice President Mike Pence certainly could not have come out of hiding to stop it. He would have been killed, as one Proud Boy said. No other members of Congress felt they could stand up to the mob and stop it. Only Trump could have stood in front of the crowd and turned them away. Instead, he said he would be with them and excitedly watched the events unfold.

Trump is uniquely responsible for the insurrection and must be barred from future office. This is not a partisan issue. This is a patriotic issue — we want leaders who will defend the oath they take, our country, its citizens and our Constitution. Republicans should want to purge their party of this man.

I encourage people to ask their local and national Republican committees to publicly and unequivocally denounce Donald Trump.



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