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Indiana’s Republican Governor Wants To Reward Health Agencies After Their Disastrous Covid Response

Indiana’s Republican governor wants more money for the health bureaucrats who trampled our constitutional rights of assembly, worship, and speech.

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In an amazing act of hubris, the Indiana public health conglomerate that shut down the economy, shuttered schools, and pushed counterproductive Covid policies is now seeking copious amounts of money to fix problems it helped create. 

The Indiana state legislature convenes this week, and Gov. Eric Holcomb wants one of the largest budget increases in the state’s history for his health department. Such a move would increase not only that bureaucracy’s money but also its power. Those of us who fought Holcomb’s Covid rules hope our state reps will once again be bold enough to act against his wishes in the interests of justice. 

Many of us felt vindicated in May 2021 when the Indiana General Assembly limited the power of local health officers, even though they had to override the governor’s veto to do it. In my area of South Bend, local health officials tried to limit gatherings to groups of 10, roll back our economy, and issue fines for mask non-compliance. They even targeted bars in late-night raids.

At one point, state Attorney General Curtis Hill had to step in and issue a warning to the St. Joseph County Department of Health for trying to intimidate churches into closing. The local officers also found themselves on the losing end of a lawsuit for pushing an illegal mask order. 

The overreach in my county and across Indiana prompted state lawmakers to make it harder for health departments to issue orders unilaterally. Despite that move, the governor came back months later to announce a working group that many of us feared would undo that progress and increase the public health bureaucracy in Indiana. That indeed was the result when the governor’s Public Health Commission issued its final report in the summer of 2022 calling for a $240 million per year increase in spending on the public health bureaucracy in Indiana. 

Considering the damage public health officials achieved using considerably less money, the idea of increasing its budget to phenomenal, record-breaking levels is tone-deaf. In Indiana — and everywhere else — the public health establishment pushed unscientific policies that led to lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine coercion, business destruction, job losses, supply-chain disruption, isolation and mental trauma, family separation, severe child and teen educational damage, warped social interactions, and delayed essential health care. 

This reign of health officers trivialized our constitutional rights, assaulting our freedom of assembly, our freedom to worship, and our freedom of speech. These Anthony Fauci wannabes demanded we obey their outlandish recommendations. Remember Halloween “guidance” such as telling kids not to shout “trick or treat”? These people who bungled the science and followed the herd in trampling our constitutional rights in panic then labeled any challenge to their authority “misinformation.”

The idea of rewarding public health for its failures and authoritarianism with huge streams of money now and into the future so it can continue to grow its power is absurd. Are Indiana’s health leaders so disconnected as not to realize how negatively their policies affected public health in terms of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide rates? What about all the missed well-checks and postponed operations?

We don’t even know all the short- and long-term effects of the barely tested genetic vaccines, which are already associated with myocarditis. These government decision-makers didn’t even spare our children from their vaccine experiment, despite statistically zero negative health outcomes in that age group.

The governor’s Public Health Commission was charged with “examining the strengths and weaknesses of Indiana’s public health system and making recommendations for improvements,” yet nowhere in their report did they examine how errors in their Covid policy harmed Hoosiers’ health. Instead, they insist that if we just give them tons and tons more money — a very Democratic idea from a Republican administration — they will improve public health for all of us.

Sorry, but there’s no way I’m trusting public health experts to suddenly become effective and accurate after the last three years, let alone the broader experiential human knowledge that people far away from problems are the worst positioned to help solve them. The same people who cooperated in causing these problems should not be the ones tasked to address them.

In Indiana schools alone, state rules kept kids trapped in masks and quarantined at home long after we knew Covid held essentially no risk to kids, creating learning losses that may affect our children and therefore our state’s future forever. Holcomb’s original mask mandate outlandishly included jail time for non-compliers, an overstep even he was forced to quickly retract.

When employees clamored for protections against business vaccine mandates, the governor sided with companies forcing medical procedures on their workers. It also took Holcomb a full two years to finally end his public health emergency declaration, extending his extra powers month after month to the frustration and exhaustion of Hoosiers. 

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is implicated in the Covid response disaster, even it was self-aware enough to recognize the public ire and distrust against its disastrous and counterproductive Covid response and acknowledge the need for reform. Recall that at one point the CDC purchased cell phone records and tracked the location of millions of Americans to see if they were complying with lockdown orders. So for the governor’s Public Health Commission to completely ignore the disdain many Hoosiers have toward Holcomb and his health department’s role in Indiana’s Covid response shows how little the agency is aware of its own failed policies.

Without accountability, there is no path forward. Simply handing over this overwhelming amount of money to the governor and his state health bureaucracy will not only allow its tentacles to grow exponentially but reward their heavy-handed decisions over the last few years that have immeasurably harmed citizens. They should get a legislative rebuke instead.  


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