Indiana AG fights COVID-19 misinformation, points finger at government health agencies

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Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is fighting COVID-19 misinformation.

In a recent memo, the Republican AG responded to a request from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Surgeon General to submit instances of COVID-19 misinformation. Rokita complied a list of what he called “misleading messages” spread by government officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.
(Getty Images)

Rokita highlighted nine specific instances of what he considered to be COVID-19 misinformation that the government spread during the pandemic.

They included claims such as: Vaccines stop the spread, natural immunity doesn’t help, school closures were effective and costless, there was no reasonable policy alternative to lockdowns, it is possible to eradicate COVID-19, mask mandates are effective in reducing spread, everyone is equally at risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, mass testing of asymptomatic people and contract tracing is effective in reducing spread and the reported number of COVID-19 deaths is accurate.

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“The federal government must evaluate how misinformation from government agencies at all levels led to the adoption of extreme strategies that came at a high cost to life and liberty,” Rokita wrote.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant. (iStock)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant. (iStock)
(iStock)

Rokita went on to accuse the government of being unable to provide an accurate number of deaths or hospitalizations due to COVID-19, despite spending close to $5 trillion on fighting the virus.

“For two years, the government forced us to stay in our homes, cover our faces, and keep our kids home from school,” Rokita said. “We were expected to blindly follow and obey these public health orders and not question the wisdom of unelected officials. Families across Indiana and across the nation demand the truth.”  

Rokita called President Biden’s mask and vaccine mandates “unlawful.”

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Protestors opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by the government rally at City Hall in New York City on August 25, 2021.

Protestors opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by the government rally at City Hall in New York City on August 25, 2021.
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP)

He called on the government to be transparent about the data used to make public health decisions and vowed to keep fighting to expose the facts surrounding inaccurate data on the numbers of deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

“We can’t improve our response to a future pandemic without an honest and accurate accounting of the number of deaths and hospitalizations inflicted by COVID-19,” Rokita said.

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Rokita wrote the memo together with epidemiologists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Senior Research Fellow at the Brownstone Institute and former Professor at Harvard University School of Medicine.