Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.
On Wednesday, June 3 the Governor began by announcing the 78th death in West Virginia due to COVID-19. As he offered his condolences to the family he advised people to stay smart and protect themselves when they go out.
Testing at correctional facilities is still under way. More than 1,000 inmates and staff have been tested. The Northern Panhandle is expected to be complete by Wednesday, June 3. All facilities will be finished by June 12. There are 21 inmates at Huttonsville Correctional Center who have recovered.
Private and State Park Campgrounds will reopen to out of state guests starting on June 10 as a part of Week 7. The state is capping the number of days for these reservations at seven days.
Applications for CARES Act funding is still open to cities and counties. There are only 18 applications submitted as of Wednesday morning. The Governor stated he would like to see more applications.
WorkforceWV has paid out more than $7.1 Million in unemployment claims. There were more than 250,000 claims over two months.
There is an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims. In some cases people have filed for other people. If you receive a letter from Workforce about a claim but have not filed, you are advised to contact Workforce at 1-800-379-1032 and use Option 6. Anyone who suspects fraud is also advised to call and report it.
The Governor was called out to speak with President Donald Trump during the conference. He elaborated on the content of that call toward the end of the briefing. Among the topics were the ongoing protests across the country over the death of George Floyd, restarting the economy and whether or not the Republican National Convention would be held in West Virginia. Gov. Justice said the President told him it was unlikely the convention would be held here in the Mountain State this year.
In mentioning all of the economic goodness his personal friendship with President Trump has brought to the state, Gov. Justice made a remark in jest that all presidents were welcome in West Virginia, except for “maybe not Barack Obama.”
After a few politically-motivated individuals began questioning the tone of the comment, Gov. Justice provided clarification that the remark was made specifically in regard to the effect that the Obama Administration’s War on Coal had on the West Virginia economy from 2008-2016:
“Everyone knows that President Obama made it a specific strategy to destroy our coal industry and power plants which, for more than a century, had been the lifeblood of West Virginia’s economy,” Gov. Justice said after Wednesday’s briefing. “Before you know it, West Virginia was brought to our knees, especially southern West Virginia. I hated that so badly because the good people of West Virginia suffered beyond belief.
“I want to love everybody, and by that, I mean everybody, including President Obama,” Gov. Justice continued. “But, at the end of the day, what happened to West Virginia during his time in the Oval Office will take us decades and decades to recover from, if ever.”Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV)