By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. A Pence defection

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: Olivia Troye is a Republican, who got her first job working for the Republican National Committee and ended up as Vice President Mike Pence's lead staffer on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. She's not only voting for Joe Biden, she becomes the first COVID task force member to break ranks with President Trump, cutting a TV ad for Republican Voters Against Trump. “It was shocking to see the President saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything was OK when it was not,” Troye says in a video released Thursday. "What I’m really concerned about is if they rush this vaccine and pressure people and get something out because they want to save the election. At some points I would come home at night, I would look myself in the mirror and say, 'Are you really making a difference?' Because no matter how hard you work or what you do, the president is going to do something detrimental to keeping Americans safe.”

The most damaging thing Troye says came when she described a task force meeting when the president expressed disdain for his own supporters, saying, “Maybe this COVID thing’s a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.”

Where have we heard this before? President Trump's buddy, shock jock Howard Stern, said in May, “The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump, for the most part … He wouldn’t even let them in a f*cking hotel. He’d be disgusted by them. Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.”

2. The mask wars

Gov. Eric Holcomb keeps urging Hoosiers to wear masks, saying the state's pandemic infection rate is one of the lowest in the nation. “I don’t want that lost on anyone, that what we’re doing is working,” Holcomb said. “And it’s allowing us to not just stay open and continue to reopen, but to continue to do it in a safe way.” Meanwhile, Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider took umbrage at Florida anti-maskers who demonstrated at a Target with the song "We're Not Gonna Take It."  Snider: "They don't have permission or blessing to use my song for their moronic cause.”

3. Holcomb losing the GOP fringe

Gov. Holcomb has lost the support of controversial State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, who says he is backing Libertarian nominee Donald Rainwater: “At a time when racial tensions are putting a focus on criminal justice reform, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has broken with some in his party to say 'Black lives matter.' I am voting for Donald Rainwater for Governor for the state of Indiana." HPI reported Thursday there are some 8,200 on a Republicans for Rainwater Facebook page.

4. Indiana jobless rate 6.4%

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4% for August, and the national rate is 8.4%. Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 41,752 over July. This is after the pandemic sent Indiana's 3.2% jobless rate in February to 16.9% in April. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.36 million, and the state’s 63.5% labor force participation rate is above the national rate of 61.7%.

5. Caputo kaput

Health & Human Services Assistant Secretary Michael Caputo is taking a medical "leave of absence" following a weekend video rant in which he accused CDC scientists of "sedition," warned of an Inauguration Day "insurrection" and urged President Trump's supporters to arm themselves. President Trump's installation of Caputo at HHS came after he decided not to fire Sec. Alex Azar over pandemic messaging issues. Politico r eported this from a former senior Trump official on Caputo's impact on CDC messaging: “It didn’t add, it didn’t subtract. It just created a public relations nightmare. Azar had one foot on a banana peel and another on a sheet of ice," with the official saying that Caputo took the heat off Azar, who is pondering a 2024 run for Indiana governor.

Have a great weekend, folks. It's The Atomic!