Indiana congressman clarifies his controversial take on COVID-19

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth said Hoosiers have to get back to work now even it means losing more people to the pandemic.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 10:46 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 3:59 AM

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) — An Indiana congressman clarified his controversial viewpoints on COVID-19 Wednesday night.

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth said Hoosiers have to get back to work now even it means losing more people to the pandemic.

His statement gained national attention.

"Americans deserve better than the two solutions of they can either stay home or go out and die," said Republican Hollingsworth.

He said they [Americans] need a better financial plan.

Hollingsworth represents Indiana's 9th district, which is the south-central part of the state.

He spoke with affiliate WEVV in Evansville Wednesday evening adding the spotlight needs to change.

"This is what we should be focused on," said Hollingsworth. "How we minimize the cost overall both economic and biological, not just telling Americans if you stay at home you will live. That is not the American way of life."

Hollingsworth first spoke with radio station WIBC in Indianapolis on Tuesday about his plan.

The original statement from Hollingsworth in question is below.

"In the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life, of American lives, we have to always choose the latter," said Hollingsworth in his interview with WIBC. 

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he agrees with Hollingsworth about Hoosiers getting back to work, but reassured them it has to be at a safe time.

During his press conference Wednesday afternoon News 18 asked Gov. Holcomb what his response is to Hollingsworth's statements.

He noted it is a top priority to get the workforce moving again, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still plaguing the state, now is not the time to reopen the state's economy.

"We want a safe work force on the ground as soon as we can get there, but the measures and practices are helping us get there," said Gov. Holcomb. 

Holcomb said choosing between the economy and Hoosier lives is not an, "either or."

He said both are top priorities.

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