Health Commissioner Targets Lawmaker's Misinformation

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The head of New Hampshire’s health department on Friday accused a Republican lawmaker of spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette was telling the Legislature’s fiscal committee that 90% of those hospitalized in New Hampshire due to the coronavirus are unvaccinated when she was interrupted by Rep. Ken Weyler of Kingston.

“That is in doubt,” he said, adding that he has heard from emergency room workers who say 90% of those admitted have been vaccinated.

“That is incorrect and that is misinformation,” Shibinette told him, according to video of the exchange shared by WMUR-TV. “I have no idea why someone would say that but that is incorrect, and that is the problem that we are having in increasing our vaccination rate: spreading misinformation about the Covid vaccine.”

Republican members of the committee voted to table $27 million in federal virus relief funds that would have gone to the state's immunization program.

In other coronavirus developments:

THE NUMBERS More than 114,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 388 cases announced Friday. Five new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,457.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 302 new cases per day on Sept. 1 to 446 new cases per day on Sept. 15.