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Former Washington Journalist
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Although the governors of Mississippi and Texas who this week lifted mask mandates in their states in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic may have been Republicans, the moves were not supported by all of their Republican counterparts.
Gov Jim Justice, of West Virginia, in particular, appeared to criticize lifting mask mandates at this time as a “macho thing,” and vowed that he would not turn mask wearing into a “political football.”
West Virginia has seen 133,000 reported cases of COVID-19, including 2,309 deaths, according to the latest statewide statistics.
“Well John, to be perfectly honest, the one thing that I’m not going to do in West Virginia, I’m not going to let this become a political football. I mean, I really — I don’t want to be critical. But so many people want to just move because it’s the most politically correct thing that they can do,” Justice said during an on-air interview with CNN host John King. “You know, it becomes almost a macho thing and everything. In West Virginia we want to, we want to be cautious. We want to be safe. We want to be respectful of everybody’s rights and everything with all that and we’ve done the right thing all the way through this thing.
“I mean, you know, if you step back and really look, first in the nation to test their nursing homes, first in the nation to get all of our nursing homes vaccinated, first leading the nation and all the administration of the vaccine,” Justice added. “It goes just on and on and on. But in all that, John, one thing we’ve done, we’ve always listened to the experts and we’ve always let him lead us and we’ve been cautious. We’ve been bold, but we’ve been cautious in everything.”
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