Holcomb unveils campaign to promote masks, but won’t mandate using them

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is launching a marketing campaign to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask in public, but he said he doesn’t plan to mandate their usage like governors in some other states.

During Wednesday’s pandemic press briefing, Holcomb and Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box repeatedly encouraged Hoosiers to wear a mask when around other people to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Eric Holcomb in featured in the state’s new #MaskUpHoosiers marketing videos.

“It may be inconvenient but it’s very important, and it works,” Holcomb said. “This is one of the tools that we know can limit the spread.”

As of Wednesday, the state had nearly 46,000 positive cases and nearly 2,500 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

The administration is using #MaskUpHoosiers and sharing videos of officials, such as Holcomb and Box, talking about why they wear a mask and explaining that doing so is the best way to protect others.

“This good example needs to spread faster than the virus,” Holcomb said.

Box said she hopes Hoosiers have been paying attention to what’s happening in other states where social distancing measures and mask wearing hasn’t been taken seriously and case numbers are rapidly rising again, which is causing reopening plans to be delayed or reversed.

“Indiana could very easily be in that same situation in the next two to four weeks or six weeks if we don’t take this to heart,” Box said.

The mask-wearing campaign comes as Holcomb delays the state from moving into the final stage of its reopening plan. Indiana will stay in what he’s calling “Stage 4.5” from July 4-17 instead of entering Stage 5 on July 4 as previously planned.

When asked why he wouldn’t mandate wearing a mask, given its effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19, Holcomb said he believes in Hoosiers.

“I believe that Hoosiers are doing the right thing, for the most part, in terms of doing their part to help slow the spread,” Holcomb said.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

7 thoughts on “Holcomb unveils campaign to promote masks, but won’t mandate using them

  1. Finally. But too little, too late. Masks should have been and should be mandatory in public. If so, this mess would be totally under control.

  2. If Indiana doesn’t have a 14 consecutive day decline they should remain in whatever stage they say we are in now. A 14 Day Decline is what we are suppose to be experiencing before we make any move.
    Dr. Box didn’t even say we should be wearing masks from the start when we should have. I am not a Physician, but I worked in the Medical field for 35 years and I realize the importance of masks.
    Masks should be mandatory as well as social distancing until we all get a vaccine. Dr. Fauci states the vaccine may only be 70% effective. People are resisting wearing masks for the most selfish reasons.
    If you have any concern or respect for other people and want to be a part of the solution instead of the problem, wear a mask and social distance.

  3. Latest estimate is that masks represent only a 15% effectiveness of stopping the spread from an individual with the same percentage applying to resisting it. That said count me in for the 85% that sees them as unnecessary and quite possibly unhealthy as well

    1. I’d like to see a link to your 15% effectiveness data, but even if that’s true, it’s significant considering 130,000+ have died from this disease in America. That’s about 20,000 lives that could’ve been saved if everyone just wore the mask! And how is the mask unhealthy?

    2. What is this nonsense? No study has shown only a 15% effectiveness in mask wearing.
      Then you mix up your numbers and assume that 85% of the country sees masks as unnecessary, which is also false. Mask usage is widely supported among not only health experts but the general population as well.
      Get out of your right-wing echo chamber and recognize that masks are needed if were are to open businesses. It’s that simple.

  4. Holcomb is like Trump, he says and does what benefits him politically. Like Trump, he had to walk back what he previously said about making masks mandatory. Now, he dons his mask, makes it mandatory, but will not enforce.
    If Cuomo in New York had the legal authority to do all he did, why doesn’t Holcomb? Isn’t Curtis Hill on his way out?

    There is scientific proof wearing a mask lowers the risk of spreading the virus yet people resist for selfish reasons and because they do not respect others. Have some common sense, respect for others, do the right thing without
    being forced to do so.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}