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Holcomb says he was ‘blindsided’ by Rokita’s COVID-19 data comments

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Lauren Chapman / IPB News
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Gov. Eric Holcomb responded to Attorney General Todd Rokita’s statements that he doesn’t trust the state’s COVID-19 data. The governor called the comments demoralizing. 

In an interview last week with WSBT in South Bend on vaccine mandate lawsuits, Rokita said he “doesn’t believe any numbers any more” and said the data has been “politicized from day one.”

Holcomb responded to those comments during a COVID-19 news briefing Wednesday. 

“I will say that I was stunned and somewhat blindsided by the attorney general when he said he didn’t trust any information. Because that, to me, hit home,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said Rokita has not reached out to him, and he had not reached out to the attorney general.

“And it’s quite serious when you accuse or insinuate anyone of inflating numbers. In my book, that’s called fraud,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said if there is a “shred of evidence” Rokita should take that to the Inspector General.

Rokita’s office provided a statement from the attorney general: “A lack of global standardization of the data and non-uniform use of criteria is an industry-wide management issue, not an Inspector General issue.” 

Indiana reported 7,967 new cases Wednesday – 7,941 from Dec. 28. That’s the highest single-day total reported in 2021. The state eclipsed 18,000 confirmed deaths and 1.2 million cases on Dec. 22.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.