Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) on Monday criticized lockdown protests in his state, calling the demonstrations “demoralizing” for healthcare workers and an “almost perfect petri dish” for spreading the Chinese coronavirus.
Holcomb weighed on the protests in his daily press conference, responding to the more than 200 residents who rallied Saturday outside the Governor’s Residence to demonstrate against his stay-at-home order aimed at preventing further spread of the coronavirus.
“It’s an environment that appeared to be an almost perfect Petri dish of how this can spread,” Holcomb said, adding that he hopes it is not. The Indiana Republican then said that while people have the right to express themselves, “this would be the exact way to not to be productive” and could potentially set the state back.
Holcomb also said that the combination of protesting and lack of social distancing is “demoralizing” for medical staffers, adding: “When we just add to that in an almost flaunting way, it is not helping.”
“I totally get the anxiety and the impatience and the desire to get back out there and get back out the way things used to be,” the governor continued. “We’re on the right path.”
“We’ll get there a lot faster if everyone subscribes to the notion that we’re in this together,” he added.
As of Monday, Indiana has confirmed 11,686 coronavirus cases and 569 deaths, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.
Holcomb’s remarks come as protesters across the country are calling for the loosening on restrictions. Several states, including Texas, are taking steps to reopen their economies to reverse further financial carnage sparked by the pandemic. On Monday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered for parks to open. Visitors must wear face masks and remain six-feet apart from others.