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Indiana Democrats are calling on Gov. Mike Pence and the state Department of Health for more information on the timeline of the state’s HIV outbreak.

The Indiana Democratic Party sent a letter to Pence Monday requesting a release of documents.

In the release, Democrats say 65 days passed between the time when Indiana reached the 10 cases needed to declare a state of emergency and the time when Pence officially made the declaration. The number of cases grew from 10 to 79 during that period.

The letter requests detailing of specific dates for when Pence, his administration and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) first learned of the HIV epidemic.

Democrats say in the release that Indiana had 10 cases Jan. 17. The ISDH sent an official notice Feb. 25 and Gov. Pence issued the state of emergency March 25.

In the letter Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody requests the specific dates for when Pence and his administration became aware of the outbreak and when the ISDH first received word of the epidemic in Scott County. Zody also requests a response to why the state did not address the worst HIV outbreak in state history until 65 days after the initial 10 cases came to light.

“The timeline the state has provided leaves many questions left unanswered, and with other counties experiencing similar vulnerabilities like Scott County, Hoosier families want to be sure the Pence administration is taking appropriate and timely action,” Zody said in a statement. “For the sake of our state and every Hoosier’s well being, it is my hope Gov. Pence expedites this request so the general public can get answers immediately.”

House Republican Spokesman Ben Gavelek said the caucus has no response.

Contacts to Pence’s office and ISDH were not immediately returned.

TheStatehouseFile.com is a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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