Gov. Justice vents about Washington politics during Friday press briefing

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During his Friday press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice paid tribute following the death of a West Virginia National Guardsman.

Lt. Col. Chris Nasser, the missions support group commander at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, died of a heart attack, Justice explained.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer shared his thoughts on Nasser’s death.

“He spent 29 years in the National Guard, in the 167th Air, Airlift Wing and was a, a, a true patriot and a great West Virginian,” said Hoyer.

Justice addressed concerns Friday over his decisions on reopening certain businesses.

Justice touched on what goes into deciding when various businesses will be allowed to resume operations.

“Now it’s irritating as it can be to listen to people come up and say, ‘Well, the reason we opened the tanning beds is cause we had a whole bunch of people that are, that are complaining about the tanning beds not being open, or the reason we’re gonna open this and everything is because the governor’s office is bombarded with calls and everything else,'” said Justice. “Well, first and foremost, I want to tell you just this, that I really believe a good governor is constantly talking to the people. I want to listen to the people and everything.

“If you believe for a second these decisions that have been made that have gotten us to where we’ve gotten to right now have been made by a bunch of noise about people complaining, you’re just, you’re just way out in left field, and that noise, or that pressure is not going to influence a decision in any way, no possibility,” said Justice.

Justice then vented his frustration related to tangential issues slowing down progress by the federal government to meet needs related to coronavirus and repeated a refrain to put politics aside.

“Maybe the Democrats, or maybe Sen. Manchin came out and said, ‘We ought to give $600 million, whether they need it or not, we ought to give $600 million to the counties and the cities right now, boom,'” said Justice. “And, now the latest, greatest is, you know, from, from the Dems in house, now what we are saying, with the blessing of Sen. Manchin again, we ought to give $600 million to all the small businesses. Well, somebody, pray tell, just do the math. I mean, somebody be prudent and everything in what we do.

“It’s more politics that’s going on in Washington. Joe [Manchin] needs to be in Washington. He needs to be pushing Nancy Pelosi to, to get out, get out of the CARES Act and additional stimulus do—stimulus dollars that can come to the states. Get out. Why are we bargaining on climate change? Why are we bargaining on illegal immigrants? I mean, for crying out loud, does somebody not realize this pandemic is absolutely real and people are dying, and the economics of it is absolutely just, just debilitating to all of us in every way? I mean, for crying out loud, do we really need to be debating or trying to slip in climate change or, or illegal immigration, you know, and, I mean, do we really need to be doing that?” Justice continued.

Justice also took a moment to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, with flags flying at half-staff in the state.

“I encourage us all to take time in prayer, or, or if you have an opportunity to talk, you know, with, uh, with anyone that’s, uh, in law enforcement to, to just tell ’em how much you appreciate ’em and, and how, how, how much that, uh, they mean to you,” said Justice.

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