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State Representative Jim Lucas says it’s time for Governor Eric Holcomb to re-open the state of Indiana for business and put Hoosiers back to work.

“Unemployment is a hot mess, people are going four and five weeks without getting paid, and the state unemployment office went from a couple of thousand phone calls to over one million,” Lucas told WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel Show Wednesday. “Unemployment is maybe one of the areas where we needed to consider flattening the curve as well,” he added. “We’ve got an awful lot of families facing tremendous financial hardship right now.”

State Rep. Lucas recently drew praise from frustrated Hoosiers after posting a public letter to Governor Holcomb that urged the state’s chief executive to re-open the economy.

“This shutdown was based on information that we have since realized was so far off the mark on projected deaths and the lethality of COVID-19,” Lucas explained. “We’ve since learned that there are vast numbers of people who either had it previously or have it now and are asymptomatic, which in turn drove the mortality number right through the floor,” he said.

Lucas also noted a recent report, which indicated that several deaths recorded as COVID-19-related fatalities may, in fact, have been unrelated to the virus.

Meanwhile, unemployment in the state of Indiana related to the shutdown is projected to reach unprecedented highs unless Governor Holcomb begins a “smart reopening” of the Hoosier economy.

“For every ‘COVID-related’ death in the state of Indiana, there have been about a thousand people who have lost their jobs due to our policies,” said Lucas. “We’re going to do much more lasting damage to the state as a result of our policies than the virus itself if we don’t reverse course soon.”

Lucas clarified that his comments are not meant to downplay the seriousness of the threat posed by COVID-19.

“Yes, this is serious and we need to treat it as such, but we also know that the virus poses a much greater risk to the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions,” Lucas said. “We can protect those most at risk without obliterating the Hoosier economy and inflicting financially devastating consequences on Indiana families.”

Click below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with State Representative Jim Lucas.

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