ICU time doesn’t sway Indiana legislator on COVID-19 vaccine

  • Comments
  • Print

An Indiana state senator who spent 10 days in a hospital’s intensive care unit with COVID-19 says he stands behind his decision to not get vaccinated against the illness.

Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn said he began experiencing body aches and uncontrollable shaking in early September about the time his wife was admitted to a Fort Wayne hospital with pain from her bone cancer.

The 75-year-old Kruse told The Journal Gazette that several days later a physician friend took him to the hospital, where he was treated until returning home Sept. 27 having lost 20 pounds. His wife also tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t become ill, Kruse said.

Kruse is among the most conservative members of the Indiana Legislature and announced in August he wouldn’t seek re-election next year, ending more than three decades as a lawmaker.

Kruse said he believed God spared his life and he hasn’t changed his mind about COVID-19 vaccinations, which health experts say are the best way to avoid serious illness.

“I chose to not do that. I don’t think it’s necessary,” Kruse said. “I believe in natural herd immunity. Let it take its course and move on.”

Kruse said he would likely file a bill during next year’s legislative session that would limit employer vaccine mandates.

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.

14 thoughts on “ICU time doesn’t sway Indiana legislator on COVID-19 vaccine

  1. Very nice. So if culling 75% of the herd is necessary to reach herd immunity, this is what should occur? What if that approach been taken with polio, measles, smallpox, and other diseases.

    Everyone does not share his risk profile. Everyone is not 75. Perhaps some wish to live to that age.

    May the employer mandates stand. Employers provide options: vaccination or testing.

    One hope Covid would just disappear and the world would return to the loving, nurturing, and edifying place it was prior to the deaths of more that 700,000 US citizens.

  2. Senator Kruse reminds me of this parable:


    This is a story of a man, who was a firm believer of god.

    One day it began to rain very heavily. It kept raining and a big flood came.
    The man climbed up on the roof of his house, and knew that he would be ok. God would protect him.

    It kept raining and now the water had reached his waist. A boat came by and a guy in the boat said: “Hey, jump in. We will take you with us”.
    “No thanks”, said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will rescue me”. He sent the boat away.

    It kept on raining and now the water had reached his neck. Another boat came by and a guy in the boat said: “You look like you could need some help. Jump in and we will take you with us”.
    “No”, said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will rescue me. Don’t worry about me”. The boat sailed away.

    It still rained and the water now reached his mouth. A helicopter came by and a guy in the helicopter threw down a rope and said: “Hi there my friend. Climb up. We will rescue you”.
    “No”, said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will rescue me. I know he will”. The helicopter flew away.

    It kept on raining, and finally the man drowned.

    When the man died, he went to heaven. When entering Heaven, he had an interview with God.
    After giving a polite greeting and sitting down, the man asked: “Where were you. I waited and waited. I was sure you would rescue me, as I have been a firm believer all my life, and have only done good to others. So where were you when I needed you?”
    God scratched his confused looking face and answered: “I don’t get it either. I sent you two boats and a helicopter”.

  3. If real-life experience of 10 days in the ICU doesn’t change his mind about his own health, nothing will. But he really needs to stay out of the way of business leaders who are doing everything they can to finally put this pandemic behind us and move forward.

    1. Kruse also wants to move past the pandemic, he’s just OK with a lot more people dying.

      He probably claims to be pro-life, too.

  4. Dennis Kruze is a nice man but walking around with very dangerous ideas. 700,000+ COVID dead reminds one of the lines from Peter, Paul and Mary who asked “How many deaths will it take ’till we know, that too many people have died.”

  5. Go get the shot if you are worried about C19. The CDC director even said on CNN (all of these commenters favorite network!) that it DOES NOT stop you from getting or transmitting the virus. The only thing it does is protect you from getting really sick and dying. So the shots are ONLY beneficial for those that get it.

    Do not forget that this has a 99.7% survival rate for those over like 75. By no means is it a guaranteed hospital admit OR death sentence.

    Mandates are insane. Next thing – every female of child bearing years must get an IUD to prevent pregnancy unless actively trying to conceive?

    I mean seriously that’s how this sounds.

    1. The people who aren’t getting vaccinated are getting sick, clogging hospitals, and then resulting in *other people* not being able to receive treatment because the hospitals are so overwhelmed. That’s why is being made mandatory. Why is this hard to grasp?

    2. Apparently being vaccinated does prevent covid infections, since the unvaccinated are 50 times more likely to get infected than the vaccinated. The math – illustrated by the deaths – is very telling.

    3. Don’t bother, guys. JCB would rather take his chances with a research lab-created Chinese virus than an American-created vaccine, and he’s waiting on the long-term data to come in on the vaccine itself… while saying it’s no big deal for to let the virus spread.

      I mean, seriously, think how THAT sounds.

  6. Also, since we seem to have to repeat ourselves over and over again: Yes, it is still possible for vaccinated people to get COVID and spread COVID. And you are right, the benefit of not being hospitalized and dying is certainly geared mostly toward the vaccinated person. BUT, vaccinated people continue to acquire COVID much less frequently than unvaccinated people, and are recovering faster, which means they ARE reducing the spread significantly by being vaccinated. Even if it were only 50% effective, that would mean it’s cutting cases in half among vaccinated people (and it’s more than 50% effective). Reducing the spread is helping others to remain healthy. Also, reducing the spread lessens the likelihood of an even more dangerous variant developing, one that might evade the vaccine even more, and perhaps might be even deadlier. Unvaccinated people are contributing to the development of variants much more than vaccinated people are. And as another person posted above, when unvaccinated people are filling up the hospitals with COVID cases, there’s less hospital capacity left for people with heart attacks, or cancer patients, or car crash victims, all because so many people refused to do a simple thing that could have kept them out of the hospital. So, you see, your decision to avoid vaccination really DOES impact people beyond yourself… do you truly care only about yourself?