INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday, Governor Eric Holcomb broke from established precedent and did not take questions after his weekly COVID-19 update. This comes as the state is seeing an uptick in cases with the state's seven-day positivity rate through Sept. 29 among unique individuals sitting at 9%.
WRTV asked Rachel Hoffmeyer, Governor Holcomb's Press Secretary, why Holcomb chose to not take questions. We also asked a series of questions to see if we could get answers. Hoffmeyer responded by reminding us of Governor Holcomb's public schedule and providing us with a recorded Q & A session the governor participated in after an event on Wednesday during the day. That recorded session is below.
In that Q & A, Holcomb was asked if he had concerns about our state being in Stage Five of reopening. His response hammered home the importance of everyone taking the virus seriously.
"Until we get to that day where we have a vaccine or more therapeutics, between now and then, it's up to us to act responsibly and that's the way we can control the spread," Holcomb said.
Holcomb was also asked about small businesses who are still struggling because of the pandemic. The governor said the state is working with the federal government to be sure they're able to give money to local governments who then could give it to small businesses in their communities. Even though our state received $2.4 billion dollars in CARES Act money, Indiana has committed to spending less than a billion dollars of it.
"We're being careful about not getting ahead of ourselves. I look around the country and look at some of the dollars that have been spent prematurely for things that just didn't turn out how they thought they would," Holcomb said.
WRTV asked Press Secretary Hoffmeyer if Holcomb would make himself available for questions after the next COVID briefing. As of this story being published, she has not gotten back to us yet.
WRTV also reached out Governor Holcomb's challengers, Dr. Woody Myers and Donald Rainwater, for their take on the virus and its impact on our state.
A representative for Rainwater said a statement would be coming. A representative for Myers sent us a link to a 45 minute Q & A he had with reporters on Wednesday. In it, Dr. Myers disapproved of how the Holcomb Administration is handling coronavirus. He cited the uptick in COVID-19 cases and Chicago warning its residents to avoid going to Indiana to prove his point.
"Moving us to Stage Five was wrong. We need to reverse that step and we need to protect Hoosiers," Dr. Myers said.