Gov. Justice pushes back against lawmakers’ request for special session to address coronavirus response


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice called a push from state lawmakers to hold a special session related to coronavirus a “political move.”

Justice said he has not heard from any citizens who want the legislature to be called back to Charleston for a session to address issues like usage of CARES Act funding. The governor stated that there are other concerns on the minds of West Virginians.

“At the end of the day, our citizens are concerned about how we gonna go back to school? Are we gonna go back to school? You know, what is, what’s really gonna happen to my grandmother, you know, if, if these positive ca—cases continue to grow? What is really happening within our state? Am I gonna have a job? Am I absolutely going to be able to, to feed my family? What’s happening all across this country?” Justice said.

“We have done exactly what we should do. There’s no pet projects. There’s no pet projects of Jim’s or anything,” said Justice. “From my standpoint, you know, calling us back in is unnecessary, it’s expensive and absolutely, it’s going to just cost the taxpayers of this state dollars.

“If, in fact, it—this happens, it’ll have to happen on somebody else’s watch, from the standpoint of somebody calling us in other than me.”

Justice again highlighted the increase in cases in Monongalia County, seen in the below chart. The highest number of cases there is in the 18–29 age range, which has 74% of cases in the county July 1–July 14.

388 of the active cases in the state are in Monongalia County, while that county has seen 436 total cases since July 1. The statewide total of active cases stands at 1,371.

“The most probable place for that age group to maybe, you know, have this disease, you know…to get this disease, and, would be in a bar setting,” said Justice. “And, the bars, we know, are the number one place that we had to shut down. Now, we’ve shut ’em down for 10 days. We may very well have to extend that. The odds are we’re gonna have to extend it, especially if our numbers continue to climb like they are.”

Another testing opportunity has been added to Monongalia County, in addition to one coming up in Barbour County.

The Barbour County testing will be held July 16, 11 a.m.–7 p.m., at Philip Barbour High School in Philippi. Testing in Monongalia County will be held July 18, 8 a.m.–3 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.

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