West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is a Republican, but that hasn’t stopped him from urging his constituents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He’s even warned that if the population doesn’t get vaccinated, it’s only going to ensure more deaths. Still, he turned defensive when pressed about the possibility of mandating vaccines for schoolchildren in his state.
In the clip below, Governor Justice appears on Face the Nation, and declares that he will never mandate COVID-19 vaccines for school attendance. When pressed about why he would feel differently about mandating this vaccine, when so many, such as the measles mumps rubella vaccine, are already required, he gets upset and tells host Margaret Brennan she doesn’t have to “come in so hot” when he’s an invited guest on the show.
Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) says there’s “no chance” he will mandate vaccines for schoolchildren.@MargBrennan: Why? You mandate measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio …
Justice: Margaret, you know, you don’t have to come in so hot. pic.twitter.com/abgmOGw7iF
— The Recount (@therecount) October 4, 2021
Justice joins many Republican colleagues in firmly opposing mandates for vaccination, but he’s spoken several times to tell his constituents that skipping the vaccine could be a fatal error. Just a few weeks ago, he warned that if people don’t make the right decision here, “we are just gonna keep lining those body bags up.” He’s told anti-vaxxers they’re buying tickets in a “death lottery.”
Students, however, are in a different position — children rarely make their own choices about vaccines, but will be submitted to their parents’ choices, instead, making them vulnerable in a unique way. Vaccine mandates in schools are a key part of public health in the United States.
With that being the case, and with Justice’s clear awareness that the COVID-19 vaccine is a life-saving public health tool, it stands out that he becomes defensive, instead of having an answer ready to explain why he would oppose mandates for schoolkids.
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com