Covid left many Republicans wary of public health. Not Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
This year, Holcomb pushed for a 1,500 percent increase in state dollars for local health departments through the GOP-controlled legislature, a significant victory in a state that consistently ranks near the bottom in public health results.
It also marks a notable departure from the approach the GOP, from state lawmakers to presidential candidates, has taken toward public health in the post-pandemic period, as it leans toward the party’s sizable wing skeptical of government and public health ahead of the 2024 election.
The backlash to the pandemic and anti-vaccine sentiment have coalesced into a growing movement hostile to government involvement in public health, and their enmity extends beyond Covid vaccines and masks. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has touted his “medical freedom” in good faith as he campaigns for the nation’s highest office. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) earlier this year