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Justice dismisses Jan. 6 hearings as ‘political theater’

Gov. Jim Justice on Monday made a point during his briefing with West Virginia reporters. (Photo Provided)

CHARLESTON — The governor of West Virginia called the hearings into the attempted overturning of a presidential election “political theater” on Monday.

The hearings are being driven by political forces, including Democratic leadership, Gov. Jim Justice replied to a question about whether he saw last week’s first meeting of the House of Representatives Jan. 6 Committee.

The committee described ex-president Donald Trump’s part in Jan. 6, 2020, in Thursday’s hearing and included revelations lawmakers sought pardons from the president in the aftermath of the insurrection that failed to stop the certification of the Electoral College votes. No evidence of widespread election fraud to affect the election results has been found.

The second hearing was Monday during Justice’s briefing.

Media and Democratic leadership are twisting what Trump has done, Justice, a Republican, said. Many things Trump did “were on point,” the governor said.

“All this is the same old stuff that has driven this country into a mess,” Justice said. “And that’s all there is to it.

“Look at just what we’re doing today in this country. And who in their right mind, who in their right mind, could absolutely condone or think what we’re doing is the right stuff,” he said. “To me, political theater, a waste of time, absolutely throwing rocks at a president who did a heck of a job in my book.”

Monday’s briefing included updates on the pandemic.

Dr. Clay Marsh, coronavirus adviser to the state, again warned the new variants of the omicron strain are the most infectious encountered so far.

Additional vaccination schedules are anticipated, he said.

“We do anticipate there will be a regular schedule that will come out over time that will help vaccinate appropriately people in the highest risk categories in the United States we’ve identified over 50 years old,” Marsh said.

Moderna has developed a more-omicron-selective vaccine, which seems a good idea, Marsh said.

“The problem is that the vaccine was initially designed against the BA-1 variant, the variant that caused all the problems over the winter,” Marsh said. “People who have recovered from the BA-1 variant don’t have much residual immunity toward these more current variants.”

Also being developed is a nasal vaccine, he said. The virus enters through the nose and the mucous membrane, Marsh said. A nasal vaccine may have a greater impact on the infectiousness of the variants, Marsh said.

“The kind of immunity through the mucousal membrane is a different kind of immunity than when we get a shot,” he said.

In a non-COVID related announcement, Justice announced the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Brownfield Revolving Fund has made the first low-interest loan to the City of Wheeling to remediate and redevelop the former Penn-Wheeling site. The fund was created in 2020, to assist government, nonprofits and the private sector to clean up properties contaminated by petroleum or hazardous substances.

“This is good stuff. It makes our communities better in every way,” Justice said.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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