CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice focused on vaccine incentives during Thursday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing.
The governor’s bulldog was his special guest at the briefing. “‘Babydog’ is asking you again to go get vaccinated,” Justice said. “If you choose not to be vaccinated, you’re still exposed in a big way,” said the governor. “Please somebody, tell me how can you take that risk?” Justice asked. “Quit coming up with all these concepts that lead you astray,” Gov. Justice said, in reference to people who haven’t been vaccinated. “Why in the world can’t we just listen to reason?”
“Babydog” will be at the State Capitol on Sunday afternoon when the first set of “Do it for Babydog” vaccine sweepstakes winners will be announced. The winners will actually be drawn prior to the 20th, so that recipients can be notified and invited to come to Charleston to receive their prize, Justice said. The sweepstakes has 246,200 registered participants, the governor said. Justice invited all residents to come to the celebration in Charleston.
While registration has closed for the Sunday drawing, residents can still register for future drawings, which will happen every week, through August, with a $1M prize awarded each week, Justice said.
The state’s $100 savings bond/gift card program for 16-35 year-olds, who are vaccinated, will end at 11:59 p.m. on June 20. The governor described the effort as “semi-successful” with 39,000 people registered so far. Eligible residents can still register here.
Another Special Session
Gov. Justice also announced that he will call the West Virginia State Legislature in for a special session on Thursday, June 24. The session will be for legislators to approve the spending of $250M in state budget surplus funds, Justice explained, with a list of items that could be funded with the money being released Friday. Earlier this month, Justice called a special session to allocate $150M for statewide road maintenance.