If you didn't get any errors when Apps connects directly instead of through the VPN, then the error was definitely caused by your VPN.
Addendum im wondering if my os has been tainted...
This error is just about DNS lookup. Try the split tunneling thing again and you can verify your phone's okay on the https://attestation.app/ website. Or, if you remember when you tried split tunneling, you can check "Last verified time" under "Attestation history" and verify it was successful during that time period.
If your phone failed attestation, there would be a different error.