West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced on Tuesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was feeling “extremely unwell.”
According to press release, Justice, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, got tested after experiencing a “sudden onset of symptoms.” West Virginia first lady Cathy Justice tested negative on Tuesday evening.
“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,” Justice said in a statement. “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.”
Justice reported waking up with a cough and congestion and later developing a headache and fever. An initial rapid test came back negative but after continuing to experience symptoms, Justice received a PCR test that confirmed he had contracted the coronavirus.
Justice, 70, received a course of monoclonal antibody treatment on Tuesday evening on the recommendation of his physicians, with his age placing him at a higher risk of severe illness, according to the press release.
“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,” said Justice. “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.”
West Virginia’s COVID-19 czar, Clay Marsh, who is also one of Justice’s physicians, said in a statement that he has “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,” added Marsh.
Justice has been among the most vocal GOP proponents of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the pandemic, launching sweepstakes and asking that residents get immunized for the sake of his English bulldog, Babydog.
Last week, Justice announced that he had requested permission from President Biden to begin administering fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in light of the omicron variant’s spread.