CHARLESTON, W.Va. – At the beginning of his virtual COVID-19 briefing, Monday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice deviated from his normal routine of reading the latest COVID-19 deaths in the state.
Instead, Justice spent 20 minutes talking about the fallout he’s received since issuing his updated mask mandate on Friday and being photographed outside the Marshall University football game, without a mask on.
Justice said that much of the complaining about the mask order is being driven by a fringe candidate who ran for governor.
Justice declined to name the man, but described him as a “child.”
The candidate also posted Justice’s personal cell phone number on Facebook, leading the governor to have to change his number. Justice said the number change is preventing “good people” from getting a hold of him.
“We need to stop listening to this noise from people who want to be relevant,” Justice said.
“To believe that we are stripping away your constitutional freedoms, it’s ridiculous, it’s not even worth talking about, or the next thing they’re going to do is they’re going to come and get our guns, which is absolutely preposterous, beyond belief,” Justice said, describing complaints he’s received.