New Report Reveals Faulty Data, Fallout From COVID Lockdowns In The Hoosier State

COVID was listed as a “cause of death” for numerous deaths caused by gunshot wounds, fires, car accidents ... and drug overdoses.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to accusations by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, July 20, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Cases of COVID-19 have tripled over the past three weeks, and hospitalizations and deaths are rising among unvaccinated people. (Photo by
J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

Known for many memorable aphorisms, Winston Churchill once expressed a determination to “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Over the ensuing decades, some leaders have used such logic to justify taking advantage of people’s fears during perilous times — trampling their liberties in ways the people would never tolerate during more normal circumstances.

The better application of Churchill’s principle, however, is to actually learn the right lessons from crises we encounter — and to apply those lessons in ways that truly protect both lives and liberty.

So it is with the COVID-19 pandemic that remains relatively fresh in our collective memory.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the architect of much of the federal government’s initial COVID-19 response, admitted late last year that many directives — such as 6-foot social distancing — “sort of just appeared” without any serious science backing them up.

So seems to be the case with many mandates and orders imposed in the individual states.

Here in Indiana, we Hoosiers recently passed the four-year anniversary of stay-at-home orders imposed by our governor with the support of appointed bureaucrats and others.

On March 6, 2020, Governor Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency. Over the course of more than two years, various government officials issued and enforced COVID-19 mandates, including stay-at-home orders, capacity limits, vaccine mandates, mask requirements, and business, school, and church closures.

Unfortunately, few of the leaders responsible for these harsh measures have undertaken any serious effort in the aftermath of their actions to assess whether they responded appropriately to the threats we faced. But we need such an evaluation in order to learn from mistakes — and to develop a plan and vision for how we will react to similar scenarios in the future.

Toward accomplishing these ends — and because no one else stepped forward to adequately address these issues — I tasked my office with conducting an analysis of how our state government responded to the dangerous coronavirus spawned in China.

In March, we released a full report on what we found. One key example — death counts across Indiana were vastly inflated:

COVID-19 was listed as a “cause of death” for numerous deaths caused by gunshot wounds, fires, car accidents, blunt force trauma, drowning and drug overdoses.

The obvious truth is that our state government produced and relied on severely flawed data, including inflated death counts and unsound positivity rates, to shape the state’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This faulty data led to months of mask mandates and, even worse, to lockdowns that devastated our economy and our children’s education.

The measures implemented to combat COVID-19 turned out to be even more destructive than the havoc wreaked by the public health crisis itself.

In Indiana, literacy rates plummeted as chronic absenteeism skyrocketed. Thousands of Hoosier 3rd graders have been allowed to move forward despite being unable to read. Students’ mental health also took a toll during the pandemic, with three out of every 10 Indiana students saying they considered suicide.

Shutting down society triggered an unprecedented level of federal spending. Total public debt as a percent of GDP skyrocketed to over 132% and remains historically high. Hoosiers and other Americans have suffered from the highest inflation rate in decades, and the consumer price index (CPI) remains elevated over pre-pandemic levels. Even after the pandemic, total federal government expenditures far exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Moving ahead, we must resolve never again to accept the false notion that we have to choose between our lives and our livelihoods. We must resolve, as well, to keep Indiana’s economy and educational institutions fully open for business during future public health challenges.

Some continue to insist that they have no regrets about the lockdowns and mandates that severely damaged our economy and our kids’ educations. In fact, after our report was released, the governor lambasted it as having “zero” credibility.

Why not read the report for yourself? Then, you can decide whether you believe it to be credible.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Let the people know the truth, and the country is safe.” Just as in his day, the need for transparency in government remains absolutely essential to maintaining a free society.

Let us all learn and remember the lessons from COVID-19 so that we can avoid past mistakes and better serve our fellow Hoosiers in the future. In particular, let us commit to always fighting the dangerous forces that are all too eager to lock down our liberties — for they pose as much danger to our republic as any virus ever could.

* * *

Todd Rokita is Indiana’s attorney general.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  New Report Reveals Faulty Data, Fallout From COVID Lockdowns In The Hoosier State