A woman receives her Covid-19 vaccine in Chicago, Illinois, on March 5, 2021. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – “We’re going to move more aggressively to try to get more people vaccinated,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced last week.
Vaccinations are now available for all West Virginia residents 50 and older, all teachers and other education workers ages 40 to 50, and all West Virginians 16 and older with pre-existing medical conditions.
On Sunday, Margaret Brennan, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” asked Justice how he convinces reluctant people to take the vaccine:
“Margaret, you’ve got to be truthful, and you’ve got to be transparent, and you’ve got to earn their trust and keep them with you,” Justice replied. He credited state health experts with doing an “amazing job.”
“And, absolutely, when we tell our people over and over and over, I tell them — I tell them just this. I tell them this almost every day — for crying out loud, do you really think you’re going to take the vaccine and grow antlers? I mean, come on.
“Just look at all the medical knowledge that’s around you and everything. You’ve got to be taking the vaccines. And they are.”
As of March 3, 11.8 percent of West Virginia’s entire population had received both doses of the COVID vaccines, making West Virginia among the top states in vaccine distribution and administration.
According to Justice, West Virginia had successfully administered 502,404 doses after receiving a total allotment of 520,535 doses from the federal government as of March 3, an overall administration rate of 96.5 percent.
Although Gov. Justice has relaxed business restrictions in his state, he is not lifting the statewide mask mandate.
“You know, I don’t like the mask either,” Justice told Brennan.
But when it really, really boils right down to it, Margaret, I have a saying, one robin doesn’t make spring. And when the first robins start coming back, if you just react and run out, oh, it’s wonderful, it’s spring, it’s spring, you’re about to get hit by a winter storm and absolutely get your butt handed to you.
You know, in this situation, we need to be a little more cautious. Nobody likes a mask. But for crying out loud, if we could be a little more prudent for 30 more days, or 45 more days, or whatever it took for us to get on rock-solid ground, that’s the approach West Virginia is going to take, and that’s the approach that I think it should take.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also is keeping his state’s mask mandate in place.
“We have found that these masks work exceedingly well,” DeWine told ABC’s “This Week” with Martha Raddatz:
You know, when this started a year ago, no one had a clue how effective these masks were. We have seen it, we actually tested it in schools. You know, we’ve seen it even when kids are closer than 6 feet apart in schools, when they’re all wearing a mask, virtually no spread in that school and that classroom, so we know it.
When we put the mask order on and actually started enforcing it, we…saw a significant drop in cases, a slow down. So we’ve seen it throughout this last year, these masks really, really work, and we’re still at a, you know, fairly high level. We’re at 179 cases per 100,000 for two weeks. That is over the high incidence level. High incidence level, according to CDC, is 100 cases.
Now, we’ve come down a lot. In December, we were over 700. So, I’m optimistic about where we’re going. But, Martha, it’s not time to do it yet.