UPDATE (12:01 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12): Governor Justice’s Chief of Staff Brian Abraham appeared on MetroNews Talkline to speak with host Hoppy Kercheval on the governor’s condition:
“He’s not doing well, Hoppy. He’s very ill. He continues to suffer as I can hear it through the phones. I can hear congestion. He still has elevated blood pressure. He’s uncomfortable.”
Abraham went on to say that the governor received monoclonal antibody treatment and has medical care being provided to him.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has tested positive for COVID-19.
The governor’s office confirmed his diagnosis in a statement it posted on Tuesday.
According to that statement, Justice experienced a sudden onset of symptoms, at which time he received a positive PCR test for COVID-19. Confirmatory testing was performed by the West Virginia State Lab, with an additional positive result. An additional test was being administered late Tuesday to confirm the initial PCR results.
Justice, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is experiencing moderate symptoms and is isolating at home, the statement explains.
Justice received a course of monoclonal antibody treatment.
Everyone the governor has been in close contact with over the past few days is being notified, according to the governor’s office. First Lady Cathy Justice has tested negative.
Justice is in communication with his Chief of Staff and office staff to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly.
Justice’s State of the State address, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12, will be delivered by written message to the West Virginia Legislature to satisfy constitutional requirements, the office explained.
Justice will then deliver an address to the West Virginia Legislature at a later date.
“While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I’m thankful to the Lord above that I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family,” Gov. Justice said.
“That being said, I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature. I woke up this morning with congestion and a cough. A little while later, I developed a headache and fever, so I decided to get tested right away. The rapid test that I took came back negative, but by the late afternoon, my symptoms were still getting much worse. My blood pressure and heart rate were extremely elevated, and I had a high fever. Finally, my PCR test results this evening confirmed I was positive. Because of all this, I began receiving my antibody treatment and I hope this will lessen these symptoms.
“For this to happen just one night before the State of the State – knowing I won’t be able to be there – saddens me. There are so many great things happening in West Virginia right now. Tomorrow, even though I won’t be there, we are going to showcase what we’ve accomplished with economic development in West Virginia. We are on a rocket ship ride and the world is finally waking up to it. But, because of this pandemic, we all must adjust and realize that our lives aren’t the same as they were a few short years ago.
“I ask everyone to continue praying for the 5,452 great West Virginians that we’ve lost. We need to keep pulling the rope together. We’re going to get through this and put an end to this terrible pandemic once and for all.
“So I apologize in every way for not being able to join you tomorrow night, and I especially apologize to all our invited guests who are having to change their plans. I’ll be back in front of you in-person before you know it. I thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon.”Gov. Jim Justice
West Virginia COVID-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh also released a statement.
“The Governor took the exact right course of action today. He got tested at the first sign of a COVID-19-related symptom, isolated himself, and, because he is over 65 years of age, he consulted with a doctor and was prescribed a monoclonal antibody treatment. I have full confidence that Governor Justice will recover quickly, and it’s because he chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and his booster shot. Without the immunity afforded by those vaccines, his outcome could be much worse. I continue to strongly encourage all West Virginians to take the COVID-19 vaccine and get boosted when it’s time to do so. Everyone is susceptible to this infection, and with cases in the U.S. and in West Virginia at all-time highs, there has never been a more important time to get yourself and your family vaccinated.”Dr. Clay Marsh