Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has an easy job these days. The second term Democrat politician is shielded by virtual meetings and a media industrial complex that never challenges anything he says or does.
He barely makes any public appearances. At the end of November, beginning of December, he took full advantage of a 14 day quarantine and made ZERO internet appearances. Downtown Indianapolis has been a ghost town since March. The city is an entertainment mecca for conventions and other events. The bar/restaurant scene was one the best for visitors and locals because of walkability and safety provided by IMPD. Those days are gone. After the BLM/Antifa riots and continuous manufactured “oppression” protests of the summer, people visiting downtown is minimal. This has led more homeless and criminals hanging around. Election day, the downtown area boarded up shop in anticipation of certain voters not getting their way on election night. The boards have not come back down.
Mayor Hogsett’s approach has been a mystery. He and the majority of the local media have played the “everyone will die” messaging of COVID since March. That will not change. The best way to explain his administrations response is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. On one hand, he has pumped millions into campaigning for people to come back downtown. Then he will hold a virtual press conference all but diminishing people’s expectations. He even goes as far as telling people dancing is banned at bars.
His one area of complete disaster has been the opening of Marion County schools. Since March, the majority of the school system has been “virtual learning”. Yes, they have gone back some, but it is barely minimal. End of July, he announced the schools would not be going back until August 5th. The positive test rate in Marion County at the time was 6.7%. The school system, after 4 months, said they still needed more time to study how students could return.
On July 30, the Hogsett Administration returned with new guidelines. Hybrid instruction was announced with the introduction of a target infection rate of the county as a whole. If the infection rate in the county dropped below 5%, all schools would be in person. The infection rate at that time was 7.7%. On the same day Mayor Hogsett announced the new guidelines, IPS voted to keep schools closed and online til October.
Kids did start going back to school in some way or form. Private schools went to in person while many Marion County schools went hybrid. IPS even went back in October. All this came crashing down on November 12th when Mayor Hogsett closed all Marion County schools. He also implemented more restrictions for gatherings and business. The boogeyman bar industry faced a 25% capacity limit. His reasoning was because the county had 10% plus positivity rate(13.3% to be exact). That was about it for “Science” being used.
Then on December 10th, Hogsett announces all Marion County schools can open back up, in person learning on January 4, 2021. His reasoning, the science is showing rates are high everywhere else. The current infection rate of Marion County was 13.3%. He also announced the “5%” infection rule was no longer valid.
It will be up to certain schools to open come January 2021 in Marion County. While Marion County struggles to even function education wise, the surrounding counties have been more successful with in person schooling for students. One school district just a mere 5 miles from the Marion County line went in person learning from July 30 to mid December with no shutdowns.
Mayor Hogsett has alway said he follows “science” and “data”. He doesn’t. He’s a king making up rules as he goes. He knows he will bare no responsibility for damage done that will play out for years to come.