NewsPolitics

Actions

New state representative calls on Holcomb for statewide mask mandate

Coffee Filter Company Is Now Churning Out Face Masks
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 15:34:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS – The newest member of the Indiana House of Representatives is calling for a statewide mask mandate.

Rep. Blake Johnson, D-Indianapolis, wrote a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier this month requesting the mask mandate. In it, Johnson discussed his mother’s multiple sclerosis and the added risk she faces from COVID-19.

“She is vigilant about wearing her mask, encourages others to do so, and she and my father take all necessary steps to protect themselves and those they come in contact with,” Johnson said. “However, despite your belief that Hoosiers will do the right thing in light of this disease, I fear that far too many are choosing not to.”

On Sunday, dozens of people rallied in downtown Indianapolis, calling mandatory masks an overstep.

Holcomb has so far been reluctant to agree to a statewide mask mandate but has said the data will lead him.

“My question to you is simple: why does my mother's life - and the lives of so many others who are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-I9 - matter less than the personal comfort and conveniences of those who refuse to believe the science and adhere to your calls to do the right thing?” Johnson’s letter reads.

Dr. Woody Myers, Holcomb’s opponent in November’s election, called for a statewide mask mandate last week.

Dear Governor Holcomb,

Thank you for your efforts and partnership as we’ve worked to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Indiana. I’m especially grateful for the campaign encouraging Hoosiers to “mask up” and do their part to protect themselves, their neighbors and families, and their communities as a whole. However, I believe quite strongly that the time has come to take our efforts to the next level. I respectfully request that you mandate the use of masks statewide.

I will not recite the facts and figures on why masks are so important to containing and stopping this virus. You know them well. Your team knows them well.

Rather, I want to share that my request is painfully personal. My mother suffers from multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system. This disease puts her at even greater risk during this public health crisis. She is vigilant about wearing her mask, encourages others to do so, and she and my father take all necessary steps to protect themselves and those they come in contact with. However, despite your belief that Hoosiers will do the right thing in light of this disease, I fear that far too many are choosing not to.

My question to you is simple: why does my mother’s life - and the lives of so many others who are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 - matter less than the personal comfort and conveniences of those who refuse to believe the science and adhere to your calls to do the right thing?

This month, we required Hoosiers to put down their cell phones while driving. We did this because we know with certainty that doing so saves lives. It keeps the driver safe, and it keeps those around them safe as well. The argument to require masks is no different.

I thank you for considering this request and hope that together we can address this virus, stabilize and empower our economy, and get Indiana back on track.

Sincerely,

Blake JohnsonState RepresentativeIndiana House District 100