Indiana’s Republican attorney general says he doesn’t believe his own state’s COVID-19 figures
As COVID-19’s Omicron variant spreads rapidly in the United States, Indiana — like many other states — is seeing its hospitals being inundated with COVID-19 patients. Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star, reported that almost 3,000 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state on Tuesday. But the following day, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita tweeted a December 17 interview in which he said he doesn’t believe the coronavirus statistics coming from the state’s health department.
On December 17, Rokita — a Republican who opposes mask and vaccine mandates — was interviewed by Todd Connor, a reporter for WSBT-TV Channel 22 in South Bend.
Last week I had the opportunity to discuss vaccine mandates with @WSBT while I was in the Michiana area. It is important that Hoosiers individual liberties are protected in this debate about vaccine mandates.pic.twitter.com/ksNS4tHoCK— Todd Rokita (@Todd Rokita) 1640196600
During the interview, Connor asked Rokita, “We’re hearing numbers: 80% of those in the hospital receiving treatment right now are unvaccinated. How do you rationalize trying to stop people from having to get the vaccines, but yet, so many in the hospital are the unvaccinated?” — to which Rokita replied, “Well, you know, first of all, I don't believe any numbers anymore. And I'm sorry about that, but this has been politicized.”
Connor asked, “From your state health people?” And Rokita responded, “This has been politicized since Day One.”
To be sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has been politicized — by far-right Republicans who have, time and time again, downplayed the pandemic’s severity, pandered to anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, and opposed public health measures.
According to Indianapolis Star reporter Rashika Jaipuriar, “Indiana University Health, the state's largest hospital system, has requested help from the Indiana National Guard. At IU Health Methodist Hospital, a 23-person U.S. Navy team will be deployed to relieve exhausted health care workers.”
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