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A portrait of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita

Source: (PHOTO: Todd Rokita)

STATEWIDE–Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita says the State of Indiana used faulty COVID-19 data to enforce lockdowns, mask mandates, and hurt the economy.

“Hoosiers shouldn’t have to choose between saving lives and having an economy,” said Rokita.

In his report, Rokita said he found that the state made two egregious mistakes that characterized Indiana’s pandemic policies.

“One was propagating and relying on faulty data like over counting positivity rates and attributing deaths to COVID that shouldn’t be attributed. The second was imposing draconian lockdowns on free citizens with the latter proving even more destructive than the havoc wreacked by the public health crisis itself,” said Rokita.

His report sates that Indiana’s Management Performance Hub (MPH) over reported COVID-19 deaths by  10.9% in 2020, 7% in 2021, and 12.5% in 2022. County-level COVID-19 death counts reported by local health departments had more significant variability than data reported by MPH, with larger counties underreporting and smaller counties overreporting.

Rokita says the Indiana Department of Public Health calculated each county’s positivity rate by dividing the total number of positive tests by the total number of tests provided.

“Therefore, if a person tested five days in a row and each test was positive, that person contributed to five positive cases to the positivity rate data. Those tested for COVID-19 had a higher probability of testing positive. Individuals who were symptomatic and referred for testing by a physician and those required to be tested by their employer because they may be at a higher risk of exposure,” said Rokita.

He also says the IDOH funded the country’s first statewide prevalance survey by testing 3,658 randomly selected individuals and determined that Indiana’s positivity rate was roughly ten times lower than the rate calculated and reported by the state.

“IDOH discontinued the study after only three rounds of testing and continued to use biased positivity rate data as a metric to impose county-level COVID-19 restrictions,” said Rokita.

Rokita says his report doesn’t just point out the flaws.

“It also makes recommendations to address these issues in the future. To ensure Hoosiers’ liberties are protected, Indiana must review the state’s framework for addressing any future emergency and adopt professionally accepted criteria for its reported data,” said Rokita.