CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thursday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced initial plans for the state’s latest COVID-19 incentive program.
Drawings for residents who’ve been vaccinated will include: college scholarships, 10 Rocky Ridge Ford F-150 pickup trucks and “big cash prizes” that will make a few West Virginians millionaires, Justice said, explaining that full rules will come out on Tuesday. The drawings will start on June 20 and anyone who has had their first shot will be eligible. “I wouldn’t dink around with this. I’d go get myself a shot. There’s going to be so many wonderful prizes that you can win, it’ll blow you away,” Justice said.
The governor does not want Ohio getting all of the attention for its vaccine lottery efforts, he said.
Justice announced that 20,527 16-35 year-olds have registered to receive either a $100 savings bond or gift card, since registration began last Thursday. The governor encouraged anyone else in that age range to register online.
The faster a large portion of the state’s population is vaccinated, the faster the state will realize savings on COVID-19 hospitalizations and testing, Justice said, assuring reporters that the costs of the incentive programs are covered.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out,” Justice said, challenging those who haven’t gotten vaccinated to give an example of anyone who has had a major negative reaction to getting a shot, compared to all of the people who’ve died from COVID-19. “Quit being afraid,” Justice said.
“There is no damn reason for us not to get vaccinated and protect each other and protect ourselves,” Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer said.
On the eve of summer training programs, Hoyer also reminded middle and high school athletes that through WVSSAC guidelines, if students aren’t vaccinated and someone on their team gets COVID, they will have to quarantine, while fully-vaccinated athletes will not have to quarantine.
“If you won’t do it for me, if you won’t do it for your family, you’ve got to do it for Baby Dog. She wants you vaccinated so badly,” Gov. Justice said, holding up his dog.
Gov. Justice wished Notre Dame High School (Clarksburg) student Ben Long well in the National Poetry Out Loud championships, where he is one of nine finalists in tonight.
The briefing didn’t begin until nearly 5:00 p.m. Gov. Justice explained that he was playing in a charity golf tournament with former Marshall football Coach Bob Pruett as part of the Game Changers event being held at the Greenbrier. Justice mentioned that his team came in second, ahead of the team featuring Alabama Coach Nick Saban.