West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) attacked fellow Republican, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas on CNN Thursday, saying that it was a mistake to reopen his state amid the pandemic.
"COVID is completely over," Abbott told CNBC Thursday morning, attacking Democrats for "moving the goalposts" about when he can and can't reopen. There are currently five COVID-19 variants in the state and about 13.4 percent of Texans have been vaccinated with the first vaccine and 13.5 percent have tested positive. ICU occupancy rates in Texas are at 88 percent, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
West Virginia has taken a more cautious approach at reopening.
"Well, to be honest with you John, I don't want this to become a political football," said Justice. "I don't want to be critical, but some people want to just move because it's the most politically correct thing they can do. It becomes almost a macho thing and everything. In West Virginia, we wanted to be cautious, safe, respectful of everybody's rights and everything. With all that we've done the right thing all the way through this thing. I mean, you know, if you step back and really look, first in the nation to test our nursing homes, first in the nation to get all our nursing homes vaccinated, first lading the nation in the administration of the vaccine. It goes just on, and on, and on."
He said that the entirety of the pandemic, he's "always listened to the experts." That conflicts with reports about Abbott, who didn't even tell three of his four medical advisers that he was reopening the state.
"We've been cautious, we've been bold, but we've been cautious," Justice continued. "I'm not going to throw mud on everything, and I'm not going to dance like a politician, because I'm not that. But at the end of the day, we're going to do the smart thing in West Virginia, we're not just going to do what's politically correct."
The Austin American Statesman reported Tuesday that Abbott's decision to reopen may have been due to anger from people about the Texas blackout.
"There's no explanation for the governor's action other than trying to distract us and the media from the failure of the state to protect us from the power outage," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Wednesday.
See the video of Justice below:
Jim Justice disses Greg Abbott www.youtube.com