Indiana AG Todd Rokita says he doesn’t believe COVID-19 stats his own state releases

Health workers are calling for help as Indiana is seeing a record number of hospitalizations, but one of the top elected officials in the state said it is unbelievable.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita appeared in an interview on WSBT 22 in South Bend on Friday, December 17th.

Referring to Rokita’s ongoing lawsuits against federal vaccine warrants, WSBT’s Todd Connor asked: aren’t they vaccinated? “

“Well, you know, first of all, I don’t believe any numbers anymore,” Rokita said. “And I’m sorry, but that’s been politicized.”

“From the health people in your state, right?” Connor asks.

“This has been politicized since day one,” Rokita continues.

Surging COVID hospitalizations in Indiana

Surging COVID hospitalizations in Indiana

Indiana reported about 3,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Dec. 21, the latest date for which data are available on the Department of Health control panel. This may interest you : Indiana coronavirus updates: Lawmakers take up vaccine limits amid COVID-19 surge. This latest increase has surpassed the figures observed in the autumn delta and is approaching the levels reached last winter.

Indiana University Health, the state’s largest hospital system, has sought help from the Indiana National Guard. At the UI Health Methodist Hospital, a team of 23 U.S. Navy personnel will be deployed to relieve exhausted health workers.

On Sunday, health workers from IU Health, Community Health Network and Eskenazi Health posted a full-page ad on IndyStar, with a simple message urging Hoosiers to get vaccinated: “We can’t do it alone.”

“The situation is terrible … it is a daily challenge to treat incoming COVID-19 patients, as well as those suffering from strokes, heart attacks, car accidents, cancer and appendicitis.”

More: “There will be opposition”: Indiana lawmakers prepare to speed up vaccine warrant bill

More: “Absolutely Serious”: IU Health doctor warns of latest COVID load in Indiana hospitals

Rokita’s interview came just a day after state lawmakers heard a public testimony about House 1001 bill, a bill that would discourage private employers from imposing vaccine warrants.

In public testimony, Dr. Gabriel Bosslet of IU Health warned lawmakers that if current trends continue, on Christmas Eve, Indiana will have more hospitalized patients with COVID than at any other time in the pandemic.

“Our hospitals are exploding,” he said. “We’re tired. We’ve been able to increase the number of beds and UCI fans, but we haven’t been able to increase the number of people. There’s no more of me.”

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Vaccine mandates 

Vaccine mandates 

In the WSBT interview, Rokita explains hospitals overwhelmed with vaccine warrants: See the article : Indiana Democrats call on state to legalize marijuana.

“The reason hospitals are filling up is because their own healthcare workers will not come to work because of the mandates they have been given,” Rokita said. “A year ago, we called them heroes, and now they’re kind of bad.”

WSBT’s Connor rejects: “Well, a lot of people are saying they’re exhausted because of all the work they’ve had to do and that’s why they left. Not because of the mandate.”

In October, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that only 5% of unvaccinated adults said they quit their jobs because of the mandate of an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Nearly 1 in 5 health workers has quit their jobs since the pandemic began, Morning Consult, a data and market research firm, previously reported, but the reasons are complicated.

Morning Consult reported that the exodus has been “largely driven by the pandemic, insufficient pay or opportunities and exhaustion.” Another survey by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses found that 66% of critical care nurses have considered leaving the profession because of their experiences during the pandemic.

The reasons mentioned by most include “the fear of endangering the health of their family” and that “patients who are not vaccinated harm the physical and mental well-being of nurses.”

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‘Words matter’

'Words matter'

Rokita concludes the interview by saying, “I think the best advice is not to listen to politicians. See the article : Indiana Football Future Schedules: Hoosiers Add Home-and-Home Series With Virginia.”

When the interviewer asked who people should listen to, he replied, “Listen to your doctor.”

Bosslet called Rokita’s comments “absolutely crazy.”

“I try to avoid being a politician,” Bosslet tweeted, “but hospitals are on fire with # covid19 … This is a bad leadership practice.”

He went on to talk about the emotional weight of the crisis.

“If I’m honest about my feelings here, it hurts and it makes me sad. We need the support of the elect to lead us. At least we need them not to see us as enemies. Words matter when you’re a leader. And those words hurt. “

IndyStar journalists Kaitlin Lange and Shari Rudavsky contributed to this report.

Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at rjaipuriar@gannett.com and follow her on Twitter @rashikojpr.

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