It always amazes me when a politician says there's nothing he can do about something because of some imagined ideal that is in conflict with public health. In this case, mandating vaccination for a population that just doesn't seem to get it. West Virginia is down near the bottom of states with just 40% fully vaccinated. It ranks dead last among vaccines distributed and actually administered. If West Virginia were the population of Florida they'd have 500 deaths every day.
So, yeah, there is something you can do, Governor.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — Despite an "overwhelming amount of deaths" in his latest COVID report, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice doubled down on his opposition to a vaccine mandate while also saying he would "really highly encourage" state residents to get vaccinated.
"We should absolutely, without any question, in my opinion, not be mandating employees" to get vaccinated, Justice said in his pandemic briefing.
He added, "we'll get through this. Unfortunately, today we have an overwhelming amount of deaths — 74 people died, 74 more people have died since Wednesday, and they'll keep dying. That's all there is to it. We just are going to keep lining the body bags up, and we're going to line them up and line them up ...," Justice said.
"We're going to run through the fire and get vaccinated right now, or we're going to pound the body bags up until we reach a point in time to where we have enough people that have natural immunities and enough people that are vaccinated. That's all there is to it. I would really highly encourage you to get vaccinated —74 deaths," Justice said.
“We just are gonna keep lining the body bags up. And we’re gonna line ’em up and line ’em up.”
— Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) urges vaccinations while announcing 74 more COVID deaths since Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/r2xsLQ3Ioh
— The Recount (@therecount) September 17, 2021