On Tuesday, during a White House briefing, President Donald Trump offered glowing praise for Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV), saying that "Big Jim" must "be doing a good job" because West Virginia is the only state with no confirmed coronavirus cases.
There are a number of problems with this compliment. First, even Justice himself as admitted the state has probably had coronavirus for a while, and lack of testing is keeping it hidden. Second, governors don't really have control over whether an epidemic spreads to their state in the first place — and West Virginia, being a state with relatively low population density and not a lot of international entry and exit, was one of the lower-risk states anyway.
But in any event, all of that was rendered moot just hours later — when West Virginia confirmed a case of coronavirus:
CNN: West Virginia announces its first case of coronavirus, meaning the disease is now in all 50 states.— Ryan Struyk (@Ryan Struyk)1584483135.0
While West Virginia's demographics made them relatively slow to be affected, it could also be particularly dangerous there. West Virginia has the third-oldest population of any state, and the elderly are highly susceptible to severe symptoms and complications.
Justice, a billionaire businessman, raised national eyebrows after switching from GOP to Democratic to run for governor in 2016, only to switch back after being elected to get in good with Trump. He is facing re-election in 2020.