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YCQM: April 19, 2020

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Published: Apr. 19, 2020 at 1:57 PM EDT
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GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON CHANNEL 3 "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," GOWNS FOR GOOD. MEET A UVM MEDICAL

PROFESSIONAL TURNING

GRADUATION GOWNS INTO PERSONAL

PROTECTIVE GEAR FOR HOSPITAL

WORKERS DURING THE PANDEMIC.

ALSO, WHO HAS THE POWER TO

REOPEN THE STATE'S ECONOMY?

PLUS, CONGRESSMAN PETER WELCH

GIVES AN UPDATE ON INCREASING

FEDERAL RELIEF AID TO

BUSINESSES, AND THREE VERMONT

COLLEGE CAMPUSES EXPECTED TO

CLOSE.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS

MORNING.

CHANNEL 3 NEWS LEARNED THAT

CHANCELLOR JEB SPAULDING IS

RECOMMENDING THE CLOSURE OF

MDU JOHNSON AND LYNDON AND THE

VTC CAMPUS IN RANDOLPH.

I SPOKE WITH THE CHANCELLOR

ABOUT THE MOVE.

CHANCELLOR SPAULDING, THANKS

FOR JOINING US.

>> NICE TO BE WITH YOU, I

THINK.

>> Darren: THANK YOU, WE

APPRECIATE THAT.

WALK US THROUGH WHAT LED TO

THIS.

>> WELL, VERMONT STATE

COLLEGES, LIKE MANY COLLEGES

AND UNIVERSITIES IN RURAL

AMERICA, HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING

WITH SOME BIG CHALLENGES.

WE OUTLINED THOSE LAST SUMMER

AND FALL, AND WE ARE WORKING

HARD TO COME UP WITH PLANS TO

OFFSET THE DECLINING

DEMOGRAPHICS, THE PRICING

PRESSURE, THE CHANGING STUDENT

PREFERENCES, THE COMPETITION

FROM ONLINE AND OTHER REMOTE

DELIVERY SYSTEMS, AND THAT

WAS, YOU KNOW, CHALLENGING

ENOUGH, BUT COVID-19 REALLY

CHANGED THE WORLD ON US, AND,

YOU KNOW, WE HAD TO TAKE

ACTION DESPITE THE PAIN THAT

WE WILL BE CAUSING, YOU KNOW,

HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF

VERMONTERS TO ENSURE THAT WE

CAN CONTINUE TO PROVIDE OUR

MISSION AND NOT HAVE THE

ENTIRE CORPORATION GO UNDER.

SO, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO

UNDERESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF

PAIN THIS IS GOING TO CAUTION,

BUT -- THIS IS GOING TO

CAUTION.

THE POSITIVE PART, WE'LL HAVE

A FUTURE WHERE WE CAN CONTINUE

OUR MISSION TO SERVE

VERMONTERS' POST-SECONDARY

NEEDS.

>> Darren: DECLINING

ENROLLMENT, COMPETITION,

HIGHER OPERATING COSTS,

COVID-19, DID A LACK OF STATE

FUNDS ALSO PLAY A ROLE?

>> WELL, LACK OF STATE FUNDS

CERTAINLY PUT US IN THAT

PRECARIOUS POSITION BEFORE

KIND COVID-19, YES.

WE HAVE THE LOWEST AMOUNT OF

STATE FUNDING IN THE COUNTRY,

I DON'T WANT TO UNDERESTIMATE

THAT.

WHEN WE LOOK FORWARD WITH THE

HUGE REVENUE LOSSES FROM THE

STATE, WE COULDN'T WAIT AND

SEE WHETHER, YOU KNOW, WE

COULD MAYBE GET THEM TO

INCREASE OUR APPROPRIATION BY

$20 MILLION A YEAR EVERY YEAR,

AND SO WE DECIDED WE BETTER

TAKE ACTION TO ENSURE THE

SURVIVAL OF THE CORPORATION.

IT'S A REAL LOSS FOR THE

NORTHEAST KINGDOM AND NORTHERN

VERMONT AS A WHOLE.

A LOSS FOR ORANGE COUNTY.

BUT IT WILL ALLOW US TO SERVE

VERMONTERS ON A STATEWIDE

BASIS THROUGH A STRONG

COMMUNITY COLLEGE, TO SUSTAIN

THE IMPORTANT PROGRAMS FROM

VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE, AND

TO CONSOLIDATE OUR THREE

CAREER-BASED LIBERAL ARTS

CAMPUSES ON ONE CAMPUS.

>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT

COVID-19 A LITTLE MORE.

EXPLAIN TO FOLKS THAT THEY

DON'T KNOW HOW THAT

AFFECTED -- WE ARE TALKING

ABOUT REIMBURSING, RIGHT?

>> YES.

WELL, THERE IS A VARIETY OF

FACTORS.

SOME WERE IMMEDIATE COSTS,

LIKE THE COST OF, YOU KNOW,

REFUNDS OF ROOM AND BOARD,

WHICH WERE IN THE REALM OF

$5.6 MILLION THAT WE DIDN'T

HAVE.

WE WERE ALREADY PROJECTING A

MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR OPERATING

DEFICIT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR,

SO YOU HAVE THE 5.6, AND SOME

OTHER COSTS, LIKE CANCELLED

EVENTS AND OTHER REVENUE

SOURCES THAT ARE NOT ABLE TO

RUN AT LEAST IN THE FIRST PART

OF THE SUMMERTIME.

AND THEN YOU NET OUT THE

FEDERAL ASSISTANCE THAT WE ARE

EXPECTING, AND WE ARE STILL

LOOKING AT A LOSS OF BETWEEN 7

AND $10 MILLION FOR THIS

FISCAL YEAR, WHICH, YOU KNOW,

WOULD HAVE PUT US INTO OUR

VERY LIMITED RESERVES IN A BIG

WAY, AND WHEN WE LOOK FORWARD,

YOU KNOW, MOST EXPERTS AROUND

THE COUNTRY ARE PREDICTING

THAT ENROLLMENT THIS FALL WILL

GO DOWN BETWEEN,

OPTIMISTICALLY, 10% FROM WHAT

IT WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN,

TO 30%.

AND THAT'S A BIG REVENUE HIT

FOR US.

SO WE FELT LIKE, OKAY, IF WE

JUST WAIT AROUND, WE ARE MUCH

MORE LIKELY NOT TO BE IN A

POSITION TO SUSTAIN THE

CORPORATION.

WITH THESE CHANGES WE SHOULD

BE ABLE TO HAVE A VERY VIBRANT

COMMUNITY COLLEGE, THE GREAT

PROGRAMS AT VERMONT TECH

IMPORTANT TO THE STATEMENT,

AND A THRIVING CASTLETON

UNIVERSITY.

YOU KNOW, DARREN, YOU ASKED

THE QUESTION WHETHER CASTLETON

COULD HANDLE ALL THE NEW

STUDENTS.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE WILL BE

ENCOURAGING AS MANY STUDENTS

FROM NVU TO HAVE A SEAMLESS

TRANSFER TO CASTLETON IF THEY

ARE INTERESTED.

AND, YOU KNOW, I KNOW

CASTLETON WILL BE DOING

EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO MAKE

THAT EASY FOR STUDENTS, MAKE

THE TUITION, YOU KNOW, THE

AMOUNT THEY ARE PAYING

EQUIVALENT AT CASTLETON AS IT

IS CURRENTLY AT NVU.

SO WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO MAKE

IT EASY.

WE WILL ALSO PROBABLY HAVE TO

DEVELOP SOME PARTNERSHIPS OR

TRANSFER AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER

INSTITUTIONS THAT HAVE

CAPACITY, EITHER IN VERMONT,

OR OUT OF STATE THAT HAVE

SIMILAR PROGRAMS THAT

CASTLETON MAY NOT OFFER.

>> Darren: GO AHEAD.

>> I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A

POINT THAT, YOU KNOW, IT IS

NOT JUST A CLOSURE OF NORTHERN

VERMONT UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES

AND BRING STUDENTS DOWN TO THE

EXISTING CASTLETON.

YES, IT IS THE BEAUTIFUL

EXISTING CASTLETON CAMPUS, BUT

SOME OF THE STRONG PROGRAMS

THAT ARE IN HIGH DEMAND THAT

ARE CURRENTLY AT NVU ARE

LIKELY TO MAKE THEIR WAY TO

CASTLETON, TOO.

SO WE'RE HOPING THAT THIS IS

GOING TO BE, YOU KNOW, NOT

JUST STATUS QUO AT CASTLETON,

BUT A CHANCE TO REALLY REVIEW

THE CURRENT PROGRAMS THAT MAKE

SENSE AT CASTLETON AND MAKE

ROOM FOR SOME NEW PROGRAMS

THAT ARE HIGHLY NEEDED, AND IN

HIGH DEMAND.

>> Darren: I WAS GOING TO ASK

YOU ABOUT THAT.

A, HOW MANY STUDENTS TOTAL ARE

AFFECTED BY THIS, AND CAN THEY

MAJOR IN WHAT THEY WERE

MAJORING IN?

>> WELL, MANY OF THEM CAN, AND

IF THEY CAN'T, AND WE ARE NOT

GOING TO MOVE THAT PROGRAM, WE

WOULD BE WORKING WITH OTHER

INSTITUTIONS WITHIN THE REGION

THAT HAVE THOSE PROGRAMS,

WHETHER THAT'S IN STATE OR

WHETHER IT'S IN NEIGHBORING

NEW HAMPSHIRE, YOU KNOW, WE

NEED TO LOOK AT WAYS THAT WE

CAN MAKE SURE THAT THE

STUDENTS' NEEDS ARE MET.

ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE

WANTED TO MAKE A DECISION NOW,

DARREN, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IF

YOU WAITED AND THEN FOUND OUT

IN JULY AND AUGUST YOU WEREN'T

GOING TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE

BECAUSE THE REVENUES WERE

DOWN, AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE

RESERVES, THEN YOU ARE REALLY

LEAVING STUDENTS IN THE LURCH.

SO WE WANTED TO MAKE A

DECISION EARLY ENOUGH IN THE

PROCESS THAT WE CAN WORK WITH

THOSE STUDENTS, SUPPORT THEM

IN THEIR TRANSITION PLAN,

EITHER TO CASTLE TON OR

WHEREVER, AND ALSO, YOU KNOW,

PROVIDE SOME ASSISTANCE FOR

OUR EMPLOYEES.

>> Darren: AND HOW MANY

STUDENTS?

>> THERE ARE, ROUGHLY IF YOU

ADD THEM BOTH TOGETHER,

PROBABLY ABOUT 2,000.

>> Darren: THIS DECISION OF

COURSE COMES ON THE MERGER,

AFTER THE MERGER OF JOHNSON

AND LYNDON, SO THAT DIDN'T

WORK?

>> IT WORKED IN MANY WAYS.

FIRST OF ALL, IT CUT OUR

EXPENDITURES A LOT, AND IT HAS

INCREASED STUDENT

OPPORTUNITIES, BUT THE FORCES

THAT HAVE BEEN AFFECTING

HIGHER EDUCATION HAVE DONE

NOTHING BUT INTENSIFY.

THERE ARE FEWER VERMONTERS

BORN NOW THAN ON AN ANNUAL

BASIS THAN BEFORE THE CIVIL

WAR.

THE NUMBER OF HIGH SCHOOL

GRADUATES HAS GONE DOWN BY

25%.

THE PRICING COMPETITION, THE

WAY THAT THE PRIVATE COLLEGES

AND OTHER PUBLICS ARE

COMPETING FOR A SHRINKING

MARKET IS BY CUTTING THEIR

PRICES TO UNSUSTAINABLE

LEVELS.

SO IT'S A WHOLE VARIETY OF

THINGS THAT HAVE CAUSED THIS

ISSUE, AND IT'S INTENSIFIED

SINCE WE UNIFIED JOHNSON AND

LINDEN INTO NORTHERN VERMONT

UNIVERSITY.

WAS IT ENOUGH TO OVERCOME ALL

THOSE CHALLENGES?

NO.

WAS IT SUCCESSFUL ON ITS OWN?

I BELIEVE SO.

>> Darren: HOW MANY EMPLOYEES

ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

>> WELL, IF YOU ADD ALL UP,

FULL- AND PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

FOR THE THREE CAMPUSES THAT

WILL BE AFFECTED, IT COULD BE

AS MANY AS 500 EMPLOYEES, OR

IN THE BALLPARK OF 500

EMPLOYEES.

>> Darren: THAT'S GOING TO BE

A HUGE ECONOMIC CHALLENGE FOR

PARTS OF THE STATE, AS YOU

ALLUDED TO, PARTICULARLY THE

NORTHEAST KINGDOM.

>> IT IS A GUT PUNCH TO THE

NORTHEAST KINGDOM.

THERE IS NO WAY AROUND IT.

A LOT OF PEOPLE'S LIVES WILL

BE UP-ENDED.

TAKING NO ACTION WAS LIKELY,

YOU KNOW, TO REALLY PUT MANY

MORE JOBS IN JEOPARDY, AND,

YOU KNOW, PERMANENTLY

ELIMINATE THE ACCESS FOR

VERMONTERS TO A POST-SECONDARY

EDUCATION THAT THEY NEED.

>> Darren: WHAT HAPPENS TO THE

PROPERTIES AND THE BUILDINGS?

>> WE BUILT THAT INTO OUR

BUDGET PROJECTIONS, WE'LL

MAINTAIN THEM.

WE WILL BE BE WORKING WITH THE

STATE REGION AND COMMUNITY

FOLKS TO FIND WAYS THOSE

CAMPUSES CAN BE REPURPOSED.

>> Darren: THE NEXT STEP, OF

COURSE, IS THIS HAS TO BE

PROPOSED TO THE BOARD OF

TRUSTEES.

THAT'S HAPPENING MONDAY.

IS THIS PLAN LIKELY TO BE

APPROVED?

>> I HOPE SO.

BECAUSE IF IT'S NOT APPROVED,

WE ARE ON A TRACK WHERE WE ARE

GOING TO BE, YOU KNOW, HAVING

OPERATING LOSSES AND 12, 15

MILLION A YEAR EVERY YEAR.

THAT'S TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE.

OUR RESERVES COULD NOT HANDLE

THAT VERY LONG.

SO, YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO EVEN

ACQUIRE SOME BRIDGE FINANCING,

I MEAN, WE ARE MAKING A

REQUEST TO THE STATE FOR ALL

THE EMERGENCY FUNDING WE CAN.

WE ARE REALLY MAKING A CASE

THAT IN ORDER TO SUSTAIN THE

VERMONT STATE COLLEGES, SOME

OF THE $1.25 BILLION COMING

INTO THE STATE SHOULD BE USED,

YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY THE

COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED

GREAT STRESSES FOR NOT ONLY

THE VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

SYSTEM, BUT COLLEGES IN

GENERAL, AND, YOU KNOW, WE

NEED THE HELP.

BUT IF WE HAD NOT MADE THE

DECISION, WE WOULD HAVE

JEOPARDIZED MORE EMPLOYEES AND

A LOT MORE STUDENT OPPORTUNITY

AND THE ECONOMIC VITALITY OF A

BIGGER PORTION OF THE STATE.

AND, BY THE WAY, DARREN, YOU

KNOW, WE HAVE NO INTENTION OF

ABANDONING THE NORTHERN PART

OF THE STATE.

AS YOU KNOW, COMMUNITY COLLEGE

VERMONT HAS LOCATIONS IN

MORRISVILLE AND LINDEN AND

NEWPORT, AND CCV WILL BE

WORKING HARD TO MEET THE NEEDS

OF STUDENTS AND DEVELOP

PARTNERSHIPS AND OVER TIME,

CASTLE TON UNIVERSITY, WE

WOULD HOPE THAT OTHER

INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT AND

OTHERS, CAN FIND WAYS TO

DELIVER TWO PLUS TWO, YOU

KNOW, ASSOCIATES, BACHELOR'S

PROGRAMS, OR BACHELOR'S

PROGRAMS AT CCV OR SHARED

SITES IN THE REGION.

IT JUST WOULDN'T BE

RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE 620,000

PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF

VERMONT, AND A SHRINKING

NUMBER OF TRADITIONAL

COLLEGE-AGE STUDENTS, WHICH

ARE THE ONES THAT TEND TO GO

TO RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES.

AND THAT'S A LOT OF CAMPUSES

THAT ARE AGING CAMPUSES FOR A

SMALL POPULATION.

YOU KNOW, WE FEEL LIKE BY

CONSOLIDATING OUR RESOURCES

AND FOCUSING ON THE CASTLETON

CAMPUS FOR OUR CAREER-BASED

LIBERAL ARTS INSTITUTION, IT'S

GOING TO MAKE THAT PLACE HUM,

AND THE SAME WITH VERMONT TECH

AT ITS WILSON CAMPUS, AND THEN

WORKING ON A DISPERSED BASIS

WITH, LIKE THEY DO WITH THE

NURSING PROGRAMS AROUND THE

STATE, AND WITH INCREASINGLY

WITH OTHER PARTNERS, WHETHER

TECH CENTERS OR OTHER

DISPERSED DELIVERY LOCATIONS.

>> Darren: JEB SPAULDING,

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> DARREN, THANK YOU.

I KNOW IT'S A VERY TOUGH DAY

IN MANY WAYS.

AND I CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE THE

FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, WE CANNOT

FEEL THE PAIN DIRECTLY AS MANY

HUNDREDS OF VERMONTERS ARE

GOING TO FEEL, BUT PLEASE KNOW

THAT WE ARE ABSOLUTELY INTENT

ON ENSURING THAT THE VERMONT

STATE COLLEGES SYSTEM CAN

CONTINUE ITS MISSION FOR THE

BENEFIT OF VERMONT.

>> Darren: THANK YOU.

NEXT, WILL FEDERAL MONEY BE

ADDED TO HELP EMPLOYERS MAKE

PAYROLL?

LATER, CANCELLED COMMENTSMENTS

LEADS TO AN OPPORTUNITY --

COMMENCEMENTS LEADS TO AN

OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE HELP HELP

HEALTHCARE WORKERS GET THE

GOWNS THEY NEED.

>> Darren: A NEW TWIST IN THE

DEBATE OVER WHO GETS TO OPEN

STATE'S ECONOMIES.

>> AND I JUST DON'T SEE HOW

ONE BODY IN WASHINGTON CAN

DETERMINE WHEN WE OPEN THIS

UP.

>> Darren: GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT

REITERATING THAT STATES SHOULD

DECIDE WHEN TO END

STAY-AT-HOME MEASURES AND GET

THE ECONOMY GOING AGAIN.

>> EVERY STATE IS DIFFERENT.

EVERY REGION IS DIFFERENT.

>> Darren: HE AND SEVERAL

OTHER GOVERNORS PUSHED BACK

AGAINST THE PRESIDENT WHO

INITIALLY DECLARED HE WOULD

MAKE THE DECISION, SAYING HE

HAD TOTAL AUTHORITY.

THE RESISTANCE SEEMED TO WORK.

THE PRESIDENT WALKING BACK

THAT POSITION NOW.

>> I WILL THEN BE AUTHORIZING

EACH INDIVIDUAL GOVERNOR OF

EACH INDIVIDUAL STATE TO

IMPLEMENT A REOPENING.

>> WE DO HAVE TO TALK ABOUT

REOPENING THE ECONOMY.

THAT NOW IS THE TIME WE HAVE

TO PLAN HOW TO DO THAT.

>> Darren: SOME MEMBERS OF

CONGRESS, INCLUDING VERMONT

REPRESENTATIVE PETER WELCH,

ARE NOW PITCHING FEDERAL

LEGISLATION CALLED THE "REOPEN

AMERICA ACT" TO GET STATES

BACK IN BUSINESS.

>> AND I WANT GOVERNOR SCOTT

AND OTHER GOVERNORS TO KNOW

THAT WE BELIEVE IN WASHINGTON

THAT'S OUR JOB.

YOU'RE DOING THE HARD WORK OF

IMPLEMENTATION AT THE STATE

LEVEL, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

HAS TO HAVE YOUR BACK.

>> Darren: IT WOULD CREATE A

FEDERAL-STATE COLLABORATION.

WELCH SAYS STATES WOULD TAKE

THE LEAD; THE FEDS PONY UP THE

CASH.

STATES WOULD SUBMIT PLANS TO

REOPEN TO HEALTH AND HUMAN

SERVICES FOR APPROVAL.

GET MONEY TO IMPLEMENT THOSE

PLANS, PLUS MONEY FOR TESTING,

TRACING, AND QUARANTINING.

AND PROVE THEY HAVE LOWERED

INFECTION RATES.

THE RAA ALSO INCREASES

PRODUCTION OF TESTS,

PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT,

VENTILATORS AND TREATMENTS.

>> THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS

GOT TO BACK UP THE OTHER

STATES WHEN THEY ARE DOING

THAT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN TO

SAFELY AND SUSTAINABLY REOPEN

THEIR ECONOMY.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS THE

ONLY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY THAT

HAS THE CAPACITY, LARGE AS IT

IS, TO PAY FOR THE COVID

EMERGENCY.

WE CAN'T IMPOSE THAT BURDEN ON

THE STATES.

>> Darren: GOVERNOR SCOTT SAID

SCIENCE AND HEALTH DATA WILL

LEAD HIS DECISION-MAKING, NOT

CONGRESS.

>> I MEAN, WE DIDN'T HAVE

THEIR INPUT IN SOME RESPECTS

WHEN WE GOT INTO THIS, AND WE

DON'T NEED THEIR PERSPECTIVE,

WHILE WE WILL TAKE THEIR

ADVICE, BUT WE DON'T NEED THEM

TELLING US HOW TO GET

OURSELVES OUT OF THIS, EITHER.

>> Darren: CONGRESSMAN WELCH

MAINTAINS THAT ANY DECISIONS

MADE WILL BE BASED ON SCIENCE,

AND SAFEGUARDS TO STOP

TRANSMISSION.

RIGHT NOW, FIVE DEMOCRATS ARE

INTRODUCING THE LEGISLATION,

NO REPUBLICANS.

BUT WELCH SAID HE HOPES THE

LEGISLATION WILL GET

BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.

CONGRESSMAN WELCH IS ALSO

PUSHING TO GET MORE FEDERAL

MONEY TO HOSPITALS AND STATE

GOVERNMENTS.

IT IS A HANGUP IN WASHINGTON.

THE NEW SMALL BUSINESS LOAN

PROGRAM MEANT TO HELP

STRUGGLING BUSINESSES DURING

THE PANDEMIC RAN OUT OF MONEY

MIDWEEK.

THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION

PROGRAM REACHED ITS $349

BILLION LENDING LIMIT.

IT ALLOWS EMPLOYERS TO KEEP

PAYING WORKERS, BUT THE POT

RAN DRY, AND IT'S ALREADY

CAUSING SOME PROBLEMS FOR

VERMONTERS.

>> LORI IS A NEW SMALL

BUSINESS OWNER IN VERMONT.

HER DOGGIE DAYCARE AND

TRAINING FACILITY, DOGS ROCK

VERMONT IN ESSEX JUNCTION HAD

ITS GRAND OPENING AT THE

BEGINNING OF MARCH.

>> WE HAD ALL OF OUR CLASSES

FULL AND OUR DAYCARE PROGRAM

WAS MOVING INTO THE DIRECTION

IN WHICH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AT

FULL CAPACITY.

>> THE CORONAVIRUS HALTED

BUSINESS, CLIENTS GOT CREDITS

FOR CLASSES, AND LAWLESS HAD

TO DIP INTO EMERGENCY FUNDS TO

KEEP HER EMPLOYEES' JOBS.

>> WE'VE TAKEN A HUGE HICHLT

WE HAD TO CEASE DAYCARE

OPERATIONS, WHICH IS A BIG

PART OF OUR INCOME REVENUE.

>> SHE APPLIED FOR THE

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM AS

SOON AS SHE COULD, IT AND HAS

BEEN WAITING FOR THAT MONEY

FOR TWO WEEKS.

ON WEDNESDAY, SHE WAS TOLD SHE

WAS APPROVED, AND CALLED THE

BANK TODAY TO FIND OUT THAT

MONEY WAS ALREADY GONE.

>>

>> WHAT WAS THE MOMENT LIKE?

YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR

THIS.

>> DEVASTATING.

I TOLD ALL OF MY EMPLOYEES

YESTERDAY I WOULD BE ABLE TO

PUT THEM BACK AT THEIR NORMAL

HOURS.

>> LAWLESS UNDERSTANDS THE

FED'S ROLE IN HELPING WITH THE

CRISIS, BUT WISHES VERMONT

STATE LEADERS COULD HELP, TOO.

>> IT'S REALLY OUR COMMUNITY

HERE IN VERMONT THAT'S BEING

AFFECTED BY THIS, AND I WOULD

LOVE TO SEE THE STATE STEP UP

AND DO A LITTLE BIT MORE FOR

US.

>> WE KNEW THE PROGRAM WAS

GOING TO RUN DOWN PRETTY

QUICKLY.

>> CHRISTOPHER FROM THE

VERMONT BANKERS ASSOCIATION

SAID AS OF MONDAY, 4,886

VERMONT APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED

TO THE PPP PROGRAM HAD BEEN

APPROVED.

853.7 MILLION DOLLARS OUT OF

ABOUT $350 BILLION HAS BEEN

COMMITTED TO SMALL BUSINESSES

THROUGHOUT VERMONT.

HE SAYS MORE APPLICANTS HAVE

COME THROUGH, AND SAYS IT'S UP

TO THE FEDS TO OFFER MORE

RELIEF.

>> THIS REALLY RESTS WITH

CONGRESS RIGHT NOW.

THEY'VE GOT TO GET IT DONE,

AND WE'RE HOPEFUL THEY WILL.

>> Darren: BUT THERE IS A

STALEMATE IN CONGRESS OVER A

PLAN TO ADD $250 BILLION TO

THAT PROGRAM.

DEMOCRATS, INCLUDING VERMONT'S

PETER WELCH, WANT REPUBLICANS

TO AGREE TO FUND SOME OTHER

INITIATIVES AS WELL.

WELCH SAYS HE HOPES DEMOCRATIC

AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS CAN

REACH A COMPROMISE THAT WILL

PUT SUPPORT FOR BOTH

BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT IN

THAT BILL.

OUR KYLE MIDURA ASKS ABOUT

GETTING MORE MONEY OUT OF

WASHINGTON.

>> REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID WE

NEED TO PUT MORE IN, AND THEY

SAY THAT THE DEMOCRATS AND THE

HOUSE, LIKE YOURSELF, HAVE

PREVENTED THAT FROM HAPPENING

IN A DESIRE TO GET OTHER WISH

LIST ITEMS, SUCH AS, YOU KNOW,

VOTE BY MAIL PROVISIONS, THOSE

SORTS OF THINGS, IN.

RIGHT NOW IT APPEARS THE HOUSE

IS DUE TO COME BACK MAY 4TH.

ARE THOSE OTHER ITEMS

NECESSARY TO GETTING -- DO

THEY NEED TO BE IN PHASE 4,

ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT THE

SMALL BUSINESS MONEY IS ABOUT

TO RUN OUT, AND THAT THERE'S

NOT ANOTHER AGREEMENT IN PLACE

YET?

>> WELL, I AM.

AND OF COURSE I SUPPORTED

STRONGLY THE SMALL BUSINESS

MONEY, AND I SUPPORT PUTTING

MORE MONEY IN.

BUT JUST THINK ABOUT VERMONT,

OUR HOSPITALS ARE GETTING

HAMMERED.

WE NEED SOME MORE MONEY TO

HELP OUR HOSPITALS.

NUMBER TWO, OUR STATE BUDGET

IS GETTING ABSOLUTELY

CLOBBERED.

EXPENSES ARE UP AND REVENUES

PLUNGED.

WE WOULD WOULD LIKE TO SEE

MORE MONEY TO HELP OUR STATES.

IF WE'RE GOING TO GET OUT OF

THIS, IT'S NOT JUST SMALL

BUSINESS, THAT'S REALLY

IMPORTANT, BUT IT IS OUR

STATES, IT'S OUR HOSPITALS,

IT'S OUR INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS.

SO THOSE ARE COMMON

CHALLENGES, AND MY HOPE IS

THAT REALLY IT IS THE SPEAKER

AND IT'S SENATOR McCONNELL,

THE TWO PRINCIPAL NEGOTIATORS,

WITH THE PRESIDENT WOULD REACH

AN AGREEMENT ON THIS.

>> Darren: GOT A GRADUATION

GOWN LYING AROUND?

IT COULD BE USED TO HELP

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS ON

THE FRONT LINES OF THE COVID

FIGHT.

SEE HOW NEXT.

>> Darren: COMMENCEMENT

CEREMONIES CANCELED ACROSS OUR

REGION, A DISAPPOINTMENT FOR

GRADUATES, BUT THAN MOORE SAW

IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP

HIS FELLOW HEALTHCARE

PROFESSIONALS.

HE'S A PHYSICIAN'S ASSISTANT

AT UVM MEDICAL CENTER.

HE THOUGHT, WHY NOT PUT THOSE

GRADUATION GOWNS TO GOOD USE

ANS TRANSFORM THEM INTO

MEDICAL GOWNS, WHICH ARE IN

SHORT SUPPLY AT MANY

HOSPITALS.

THAN MOORE, THANKS FOR JOINING

US.

>> THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING

ME.

>> YOU BET.

THIS SEEMS LIKE A GREAT IDEA.

I MEAN, WITH SO MANY

GRADUATION CEREMONIES

CANCELLED, SO MANY HOSPITALS

NEEDING GOWNS.

BUT HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT

GETTING STARTED?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

SO I WORK AS A PHYSICIAN'S

ASSISTANT IN THE EMERGENCY

DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY

OF VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER, AND

FOR ME, YOU KNOW, WORKING

EVERY DAY, AND SEEING COVID

PATIENTS, AND USING A LOT OF

OUR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE

EQUIPMENT MYSELF, PPE, I HAVE

BEEN LEARNING AND HEARING

STORIES OF COLLEAGUES THAT ARE

IN OTHER MEDICAL FACILITIES

THAT ARE GOING WITHOUT, AND IT

HAS JUST STRUCK TO THINK OF

THE IMAGE OF SEEING PATIENTS

WITHOUT BEING PROTECTED.

ONE, TO PROTECT YOURSELF AS A

HEALTHCARE WORKER, BUT TWO, TO

PREVENT THE TRANSMISSION OF

DISEASE FROM ONE PATIENT TO

THE NEXT.

SO IN TRYING TO FORMULATE A

SOLUTION TO HELP, YOU KNOW,

MITIGATE THE LACK OF PPE THAT

SO MANY HEALTHCARE WORKERS ARE

GOING THROUGH, THE COMBINATION

OF GRADUATIONS GETTING

CANCELLED AND ALL THESE GOWNS

GOING UNUSED, AND THEN ALSO

SITTING HOME IN FOLKS'

CLOSETS, TO THE LACK OF

PPE THAT ARE OUT THERE, TO

CONNECT THE DOTS IS JUST A

GREAT OPPORTUNITY, AND AN IDEA

TO RUN WITH AND SEE IF WE CAN

ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

>> Darren: SO HOW DO YOU GO

ABOUT REPURPOSING THESE GOWNS?

BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE

DIFFERENT THAN THE ONES THAT

ARE USED IN HOSPITALS, RIGHT?

>> RIGHT.

SO IN TERMS OF LENGTH, THEY

ARE ACTUALLY NOT THAT

DIFFERENT THAN A NORMAL GOWN

IN THE HOSPITAL.

SO WE ARE TELLING FOLKS TO

WEAR THEM BACKWARDS, WHICH

WILL RID OF THE DEEP

V NECKLINE IN A LOT OF THESE

GOWNS.

THEN THEY HAVE A HIGH

NECKLINE.

WE COMPARE IT TO THE

ALTERNATIVE FORMS THAT PEOPLE

ARE USING.

THEY ARE USING TRASH BAGS,

WHICH LACKS COVERAGE BELOW THE

WAISTLINE.

BY WEARING THESE BACKWARDS, BY

STILL PUTTING YOUR GLOVES ON,

YOUR MASK, FACE SHIELD AND

CAP, THEY CAN ACTUALLY PROVIDE

ADEQUATE PROTECTION, AND WE

DON'T NEED TO ALTER THEM IN

ANY FORM.

>> Darren: AS YOU MENTIONED

YOU WORK AT UVM MEDICAL

CENTER.

ARE YOU SEEING THOSE KIND OF

SHORTAGES THERE?

>> SPULT FORTUNATELY RIGHT

NOW, OUR VOLUMES HAVE BEEN

RATHER CONSISTENT, AND WE HAVE

ADEQUATE PPE.

THAT SAID, IT IS SO HARD TO

PREDICT IN THIS DAY AND AGE

WHAT IS TO COME AND WHEN OUR

SURGE IS GOING TO BE.

WE ARE DOING ALL WE CAN TO

RAMP UP AND HAVE PROTOCOLS IN

PLACE FOR WHEN WE DO HAVE AN

INCREASE IN OUR VOLUMES, BUT

WE ARE STILL SEEING

COVID-POSITIVE PATIENTS AND

DOING OUR BEST TO PROTECT

OURSELVES AND OUR PATIENTS.

>> Darren: ARE YOU WORKING

WITH COVID PATIENTS?

>> I AM, YES, SEEING COVID

PATIENTS DAILY.

>> Darren: HOW ARE YOU DOING?

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR

SAFETY?

>> TO SAY THAT I AM NOT

NERVOUS GOING INTO THE

HOSPITAL FOR MY SHIFT WOULD BE

PROBABLY BE FALSE.

IT'S DEFINITELY SLIGHTLY

SCARIER GOING IN AND THINKING

ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE STORIES

YOU ARE HEARING AND THE

PATIENTS THAT YOU ARE SEEING,

AND SOME OF THESE ADVERSE

OUTCOMES.

IT IS JUST DEVASTATING TO HEAR

WHAT THIS VIRUS HAS BEEN

DOING.

SO DEFINITELY, IT IS A SECOND

THOUGHT WHEN GOING TO WORK AND

JUST BEING VERY DILIGENT AT

DONNING AND DOFFING

APPROPRIATE PPE FOR EVERY

PATIENT THAT I POSSIBLY CAN.

>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT

HOW CRUCIAL THIS PROTECTIVE

GEAR IS, AND HOW MANY MEDICAL

PROFESSIONALS HAVE REACHED OUT

TO GET THEM.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

SO THE PROTECTIVE GEAR IS

CRUCIAL, ONE FOR THE

HEALTHCARE WORKER, SO THEY

STAY SAFE, AND TWO, FOR THE

PATIENT, SO YOU ARE NOT

TRANSMITTING IT IN BETWEEN

FROM ROOM TO ROOM.

WE HAVE HAD AN OUTPOURING OF

SUPPORT FROM DONORS.

WE RECEIVED, YOU KNOW,

THOUSANDS OF GOWNS DONATED

FROM INDIVIDUALS HERE, EITHER

GRADUATING OR ALUMS.

WE RECEIVED GOWNS FROM SCHOOLS

AND FROM OTHER INSTITUTIONS,

JUST TO SEND OUT TO THESE

HEALTHCARE WORKERS, AND THEN

ON THE FLIPSIDE, WHERE WE ARE

STRUGGLING IS TO MEET DEMAND.

SO WE HAVE THOUSANDS, OVER

10,000 GOWN REQUESTS THAT ARE

OUT THERE, AND THEY ARE FROM

MEDICAL FACILITIES, FROM NOT

JUST HERE IN VERMONT, BUT FROM

ALL OVER THE STATES AND SOME

INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALS AS

WELL.

SO THE DEMAND IS GROWING

DAILY, AND WE'RE JUST REALLY

ASKING FOR THOSE FOLKS THAT

HAVE ACCESS TO THESE GOWNS TO

HELP US COORDINATE AND PUT

THEM IN THE HANDS OF OUR

HEALTHCARE WORKERS.

>> Darren: ONCE YOU GET THESE

GOWNS, HOW DO THEY GET TO

WHERE THEY NEED TO GO?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

SMALLER ORDERS ARE BEING

SHIPPED THROUGH US HERE IN

VERMONT TO BE DISTRIBUTED

ELSEWHERE.

LARGER ORDERS WE ARE HOPING TO

HAVE DIRECTLY SHIPPED TO THE

MEDICAL FACILITIES IN NEED.

>> Darren: THAN MOORE, THANK

YOU SO MUCH.

SEEING PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY

STEP UP LIKE THIS HAS JUST

BEEN AWESOME.

WE SO APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK ON THE

FRONT LINES AS WELL.

STAY HEALTHY.

>> THANKS SO MUCH.

AND STAY HEALTHY, SAFE AND

HOME AND STRONG AS WELL.

>> Darren: THANK YOU.

WE'VE GOT A LINK TO

GOWNS4GOODEN ON OUR WEBSITE,

WCAX.COM.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

AND EACH OTHER.

SEE YOU SOON.

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