Indiana Democrats call on Gov. Holcomb to reinstate mask mandate


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a media availability from the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Democrats are calling on Governor Eric Holcomb to reinstate the statewide mask mandate after it became an advisory under his instruction on April 6.

State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) and State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the end of the governor’s mask mandate. During the press conference, Breaux and Yoder, who both serve on the Senate Health committee, called on the governor to reinstate his statewide mandate.

As an advisory, it will now be left up to businesses and local governments to enforce mask wearing if they so choose. Wearing masks remains a safety measure recommended by the Center for Disease Control to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Democrats noted.

“We understand the pressures of so many Hoosiers who are seeking a return to something that looks and feels normal,” said Sen. Breaux. “I’m looking for normalcy too. But as public policy makers, we must do all we can to protect our families. And, as Senate Democrats, we simply believe that lifting the mask mandate and reducing it to an advisory at this time is premature and too soon.”

Sen. Yoder shared Breaux’s sentiments.

“I want to reiterate Senator Breaux’s point, and emphasize that we have put in months of hard work and sacrificed through tough times to beat this virus and safely return to normal. We’ve witnessed some great strides forward over the last few months in getting out of this public health crisis, but the repeal of this mask mandate could reverse everything we’ve worked for in a matter of weeks,” Sen. Yoder said.

“With new variants of COVID popping up, young people still unable to get vaccinated and the two-week waiting period before the vaccine is effective, we are just not ready to begin doing away with necessary safety measures like the mask mandate. We are at a crucial turning point where our state will either stay the course and the number of COVID cases will go down, or we will head towards another lockdown.”

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