WV Gov. Justice decries death threats against health department officials over masks in schools

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice was joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on his virtual COVID-19 briefing, Friday.

During Sec. Cardona’s brief visit, he told Justice and state officials that he “loves what you’re doing with the “I Got Vaxxed to Get Back” school vaccination campaign. “Our students have had to sacrifice enough,” Cardona said.

Vaccination clinics will be held at some schools in all 55 counties, state education officials announced. The clinics will be open to the general public, not just students, officials said.

When asked again why he has not instituted a statewide school mask mandate, Justice said “the very second that we jump up an put a statewide mandate down, you’re going to have an uprising of people who are going to try to reverse that and then right from that you’re going to have a total fragmentation of us.” The governor mentioned that nearly 20 counties in the state currently have local school mask mandates.

Health Department Death Threats

Justice reported that local health departments around the state are receiving death threats over local school mask mandates. “For God’s sakes a livin’, death threats over a mask? Do we really need to get to this? This is an absolute shame. I just can’t get it,” the governor exclaimed.


Gov. Justice also shared some statistics from several hospitals around the state about how many COVID-19 patients are un-vaccinated:

  • Mon Health in Morgantown- 92%
  • CAMC in Charleston- 80%
  • Thomas Health- more than 90%

“Vaccinations are the ticket to stop this thing,” Justice said, again warning that there are still not enough vaccinations happening on a daily basis.

State coronavirus “czar” Dr. Clay Marsh explained that on a scale of 1-10, protection from COVID-19, through full vaccination is an 8, masks alone are a 4 and together they are a 9.

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