West Virginia governor says he is awaiting guidance on whether more ‘stringent action’ is needed

Gov. Jim Justice said Sunday he was waiting for instructions from the medical community and the federal government on whether or not to take more aggressive measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

“I am relying on our medical community, as well as the federal government, to give me the recommendations as to whether we should take more stringent action,” Justice said in a press release issued Sunday evening. “They have not given those recommendations to me at this time. However, we will be working into the hours of the night tonight, monitoring every single aspect of this, which may very well lead us to take more aggressive measures.”

The press release was issued hours after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a shelter in place order that would require people to remain home except for essential activities.

In a statewide address Saturday night, Justice said he would not institute such an order, at least not immediately.

“Opinions for political gain, without medical facts, can be dangerous to all of us,” Justice said in the press release, an apparent reference to the heavy criticism he faced in the wake of his Saturday night address. “As you saw during my address last night, I am trying with all in me to allow our state to be successful in defeating this disease.”

Justice will hold a virtual press briefing Monday at 11 a.m.

“I have scheduled my next media briefing for tomorrow at 11 a.m.,” he said in the release. “Any further actions will be announced at that time.”

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