GOP governor 'extremely unwell' amid battle with COVID: report

GOP governor 'extremely unwell' amid battle with COVID: report
Governor Jim Justice / Wikimedia Commons

A Republican governor is facing an uphill health battle after testing positive for COVID-19. On Tuesday, January 11, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) released a statement canceling the state's legislative address after receiving test results that confirm he'd contracted the virus.

The governor awoke on Tuesday morning with multiple symptoms of illness including fever, headache cough, and congestion, according to the statement. Although the rapid test delivered negative results, the PCR test returned positive. In a matter of hours, he also began suffering from an elevated heart rate and heightened blood pressure in addition to a higher fever, per CNN.

"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.

Justice confirmed in the statement that he has received a dose of monoclonal antibody treatment.

"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 said. The speech was slated for Wednesday. A written message will be delivered to the state legislature to satisfy constitutional requirements and he will deliver an address at a later date, the statement said.

Everyone who has come in close range of the governor has also been notified and testified for COVID-19. As he suffers from his own bout with COVID, he is urging everyone to remain vigilant in the battle against coronavirus.

"I ask everyone to continue praying for the 5,452 great West Virginians that we've lost," the governor said. "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."

Throughout the pandemic, Justice has been a firm supporter of COVID vaccinations. Back in July, he affirmed his support of vaccinations and urged West Virginia residents to take the shot.

"If you're out there in West Virginia, and you're not vaccinated today, what's the downside?" Justice said in July. "If all of us were vaccinated, do you not believe that less people would die? If you're not vaccinated, you're part of the problem rather than part of the solution."

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