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The Voice of West Virginia

West Virginia University will be fully open when fall semester begins

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University and its campuses in Morgantown, Keyser and Beckley will be fully open when the fall semester begins in August, university officials announced Tuesday.

University officials cited declining active coronavirus cases and ongoing vaccination efforts as reasons for the policy; the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported Tuesday 2,710 active coronavirus cases, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 956,000 West Virginians — around 61% of eligible people 12 years old and older — have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.

Students, staff and faculty are not required to be vaccinated by the time the fall semester begins, but the university is encouraging everyone to receive vaccine doses. Students have to verify their vaccine status with university housing by Aug. 1.

People who do not verify their vaccine status will have to comply with re-entry coronavirus testing and random sample testing, as well as quarantine for at least 10 days following close contact with someone who tests positive for the coronavirus. They will also have to wear a face mask around other people.

On-campus activities will no longer be subject to vaccination milestones, however Food Fest and Fall Fest will not take place in previous formats until a 70% vaccination rate is achieved.

The university also plans to announce Thursday incentives for getting vaccinated.

Fully-vaccinated individuals will not have to wear a mask inside university facilities or outdoors when around other people, but masks will be required on university transportation through at least Sept. 13 because of federal guidelines.

The West Virginia University Athletic Department also confirmed Tuesday that Milan Puskar Stadium will allow 100% capacity for football games with full stadium operations, pregame tailgating and other gameday activities.

“I want to thank our fans for their patience and understanding throughout the past year,” athletics director Shane Lyons said in a release. “Not only is this great news for Mountaineer Nation and our student-athletes, but it adds to the excitement and anticipation for Mountaineer football. A full stadium of 60,000 fans is exactly what our team deserves, and what our fans have been wanting.”

The West Virginia University football team has six home games during the upcoming season; the first game will be Sept. 11 against Long Island University.

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Justice ‘not going to turn loose’ of pending Viatris closure

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice said Tuesday public officials are continuing to explore possible opportunities for the Viatris manufacturing facility as nearly 1,500 workers face losing their jobs.

Layoffs are slated to begin July 31 and continue through next March as Viatris focuses on moving its operations to overseas facilities. Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer subsidiary Upjohn merged into Viatris in November 2020, and the new company announced the layoffs the following month.

“I am absolutely not going to turn loose of the Mylan situation until we have flipped every stone,” Justice said during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing. “I am too hardheaded to give up.”

Both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature passed resolutions earlier this year calling on elected officials and labor organizations to prevent the plant’s closure. Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, has proposed dedicating $25 million in coronavirus relief money for incentivizing a company to Morgantown.

Justice noted Tuesday the state has offered funding to encourage a company to use the facility.

“Everybody knows how hard everybody is trying, and everybody is trying everything in the world,” the governor said.

“We hold out real hope for a pharmaceutical company that we’re working with. We hold out real hope for other leads our Commerce department are working with.”

Justice said West Virginia’s federal lawmakers are also exploring how to protect the Viatris jobs to be cut.

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Albert pleased by judge’s decision on unions’ injunction over ‘Paycheck Protection Act’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fred Albert of the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia (AFT) is pleased with the recent decision by a Kanawha Circuit judge to put a halt to a new state law that forbids employers from deducting union dues from public employees’ paychecks.

Albert appeared on Tuesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline,’ one day after the decision by Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango on House Bill 2009.

Fred Albert

“We’ve felt all along that this was an attack on the freedom of our members, the freedom to chose to join our union and the freedom to have their dues deducted from their paycheck,” he said.

The law was going into effect this Thursday. The union Albert represents, along with a handful of others, say the bill was passed and signed into law solely in retaliation after the statewide teacher strikes of the past few years.

Host Hoppy Kercheval asked Albert if there was evidence that this was a retaliation by Republicans for the strikes.

“As Judge Salango said, they didn’t hide their dislike for labor unions,” he said. “They made comments in the media about their dislike for labor unions and dislike for the union bosses. Even our governor has called us union bosses.”

.@AlbertFralbert speaks with @HoppyKercheval about Judge Tera Salango’s decision halting a state law that forbids employees from deducting union dues from public employees’ paychecks. WATCH:

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 15, 2021

As MetroNews reported on Monday, Salango said, “I do find and believe the petitioners will suffer irreparable harm without this injunction.

“The governor and many members of the Legislature have not hidden their dislike for the labor unions. There have been open attacks on the unions in the media, and they are welcome to criticize whoever they please but when a law is passed that treats a certain group differently from others, then it should be subject to additional scrutiny.”

Albert is hopeful there will be a permanent injunction on it. He said it takes too much manpower to take dues from paychecks in other ways and would be an unnecessary change.

He even predicted a loss in membership in the early days following the law going into effect.

“In the interim, we would have rough days ahead because we would take some financial loss. Until everyone understands that we are in a new method of collecting news,” Albert said.

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DNC panel clears Biafore against challenge, but at home more counties call for her to resign

A panel from the Democratic National Committee unanimously backed an election challenge to party leaders in West Virginia today, while at the same time several county organizations have taken no confidence votes on state Chairwoman Belinda Biafore.

Both are tremors in the ongoing conflict over whether Biafore has properly cultivated meaningful participation in party activities, including by traditionally underrepresented groups.

Belinda Biafore

“Is there more to do? Absolutely,” Biafore acknowledged today during a hearing before the DNC’s credentials committee. “I want this party better and more representative of all West Virginians.”

Party divisions over Biafore’s leadership broke loose during a raucous, livestreamed June 3 meeting to adopt an affirmative action plan. Members of the new affirmative action committee concluded they were being cut out while, up against a deadline, the party adopted a boilerplate plan to send to the national party.

This week, the Wood, Monongalia and Greenbrier county Democratic executive committees have voted no confidence in Biafore and called for her resignation.

Today’s hearing of the DNC’s credentials committee is related to all that but also broader. And today’s hearing isn’t a direct result of the June 3 affirmative action meeting. It was already scheduled. It’s more like the affirmative action committee meeting was part of the lead-up to the credentials hearing.

Selina Vickers

Democratic Party activist Selina Vickers has been challenging the state party on a variety of matters for a couple of years.

“Regardless of what happens here today, we have already won,” Vickers told the DNC’s credentials committee today. “Three counties have called for the resignation of chair Biafore just in the last week.”

Today’s DNC hearing was the culmination of challenges on whether the election of Biafore and three other current state party leaders was properly noticed last year or whether party members were informed passively.

And the credentials hearing focused on whether West Virginia has been properly living up to national expectations on affirmative action issues.

“I have always been transparent, reachable, and I have never denied anyone involvement in party relations,” Biafore told the credentials committee.

Biafore began serving as Democratic Party chairwoman in 2016. She was re-elected last July. Also elected were vice chairman Rod Snyder plus Elaine Harris and Pat Maroney as DNC national committee members.

Biafore, Snyder, Harris and Maroney were unopposed, which DNC credentials committee members described as a key factor in their decision.

“This is a challenge to the unanimous elections of four DNC members,” Biafore said. “No one ran against us.”

Vickers and others contended that notification of the election — including location, format and positions open — was weak sauce.

Vickers pointed toward one newspaper advertisement and emails that remained a mystery about who received them. Displaying the newspaper ad on a slide, Vickers was incredulous. “Hardly less information could have been provided. It doesn’t even provide where to attend. This notice cannot be called adequate and effective notice.”

Minimal elaboration of the election meant minimal challenge to the current leadership, Vickers said.

“If no one knows about those meetings and you only find out about it with five days notice, would any of you run for chair of the party?” she asked. “It is incomprehensible to think anybody would even have a chance at that.”

Notice of Democratic Party election

Biafore described a multi-pronged notification effort. Because that election was conducted via livestreaming, she said, more people participated than usual.

The other issue was state party efforts toward diversity.

Vickers contended West Virginia’s party has had an inadequate affirmative action program for years, out of line with DNC guidance.

Biafore described a series of annual diversity efforts and pointed toward the inclusion of diversity guidance in the delegate selection plans to the national convention.

“I won’t deny that our party is less diverse than what we would like,” she said. “Our party has engaged in numerous outreach programs.”

Leah Daughtry

Leah Daughtry, long associated with the Democratic National Committee, was asked for guidance about whether West Virginia had been in compliance on affirmative action.

Daughtry described a lot of latitude for state party leadership. But she said what is monitored closely is state submissions as part of their delegate selection plan to the national convention.

“We allowed state parties to implement affirmative action programs in the manner they see fit. We do not require state parties to do this in any particular way,” she said.

After some back-and-forth, DNC member Rick Wade introduced an already-produced resolution backing Biafore. All members of the credentials committee voted for it, with some commenting that West Virginia’s party really does need to improve its diversity efforts.

Michael Kapp

“I’m disappointed by what I’ve heard today,” said DNC member Michael Kapp of California, who voted to clear Biafore anyway. “I encourage these diversity and inclusivity efforts to continue in a collaborative and welcoming manner. I believe you have a special responsibility to bridge these gaps that we’ve seen before us here today.”

Meanwhile, back home, statements against Biafore’s leadership continued.

The most recent came from Greenbrier County, where the local Democratic committee issued a vote of no confidence. In a statement, the Greenbrier committee cited the recent affirmative action dispute but said this situation has been building.

“This follows years of decline of the Democratic Party under her leadership, taking us from us super majority to a super minority in our state. Support for our county Democrats has been non-existent, resulting in the disastrous loss of numerous state and local offices in the 2020 election,” stated chairman Paul Detch on behalf of the Greenbrier committee.

“Statewide assistance for promoting candidates, voter registration, and get out the vote projects has been left entirely to local clubs and organizations, with no strategy or planning from our state office. These losses have stalled and lead to the reversal of legislation meant to help the people of this state.”

Monongalia, another of the three counties calling on Biafore to step down, offered similar reasoning.

Shane Assadzandi, chairman of the Monongalia Democrats, called for “a change of leadership at the very top.” He described broad dissatisfaction coming to a head with the June 3 executive committee meeting. “It was an absolute disaster,” he said on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

He added, “I think the bigger story here is this was a referendum on the failure of the West Virginia Democratic Party leadership to perform basic functions.”

Shane Assadzandi, Chair of the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee, talks with @HoppyKercheval about the vote of no confidence for Belinda Biafore. WATCH:

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 15, 2021

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Justice savors dropping mask mandate, giving away prizes for vaccinations

After more than a year of caution and sorrow, Gov. Jim Justice is ready to party.

The state is marking the annual West Virginia Day, which celebrates the state’s admission into the Union, with a big giveaway to vaccinated state residents. The celebration will be June 20.

During a briefing today, Justice described an extravaganza at 1 p.m. that Sunday officially ending West Virginia’s mask mandate and drawing for a variety of prizes.

There’s been a lot of miserable days and a lot of prayers and a lot of lonely, lonely nights,” Justice said. “But yeah, this Sunday will be a great day. A great, great day.”

Justice noted that the deadline for the first drawing is midnight Wednesday.

“Absolutely, you really need to get registered. Absolutely, you need to get in quick and get your first shot and then you can register immediately.”

West Virginia residents who have received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine are eligible. Registration is available online. 

The state’s website reflects seven rounds of giveaways, up until August 4.

Weekly cash prizes include $1 million cash, custom outfitted trucks, 25 weekend giveaways to state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, custom hunting rifles and shotguns — and, for participants aged 12 to 25, two full scholarships to any public institution in West Virginia.

August 4 represents the final drawing with a grand prize of $1.588 million. There’s a runner up prize that day of $588,000.

“If you‘re just dilly-dallying around and you haven’t registered you’re blowing a chance to absolutely become a millionaire,” Justice said.

West Virginia, like other states, established the raffles to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Current state statistics show that 955,964 residents — about half the state’s population — has received at least one dose. Only people over age 12 are eligible for vaccination.

For residents above that age, 955,964 have received at least one dose. That’s about 61 percent of the eligible population.

And 784,131 of residents above age 12 are fully vaccinated. That’s about 50 percent of the eligible population.

“We’re going to have a great day on the 20th. You’re going to make me happy knowing that those folks got vaccinated,” the governor said today. “It is a celebration of West Virginia coming back to life.”

Justice provided a reminder today that state residents ages 16 to 35 are all eligible for a $100 savings bond or an equally-valued gift certificate if they get vaccinated. That’s an effort to reward the state’s younger population to get vaccinated.

And the governor said state officials are still considering a financial bonus for people who leave unemployment to return to the workforce. That’s an initiative the governor first mentioned a few weeks ago, but it hasn’t yet come to fruition.

West Virginia is eliminating enhanced unemployment benefits that were established during the pandemic this Saturday night.

So Justice had seen the bonus as a way to reward people returning to the workplace. Originally, he described it as a possible match for private employers offering such bonuses.

“Then we realized real fast that some businesses were all in. But it really put at a real disadvantage folks that were still really struggling. And it put at a bidding war those who are doing great and those who are struggling,” Justice said today.

But, the governor said, “I haven’t abandoned it from the standpoint of state participation.”

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PEIA renews Humana as health insurer for retirees

The Public Employees Insurance Agency has renewed its relationship with Humana.

Humana been awarded a new, four-year contract with PEIA effective this coming Jan. 1. Humana will continue to provide health insurance coverage for the state’s 54,000 Medicare-eligible retirees and their Medicare-eligible dependents.

PEIA has been a client of Humana’s since 2010, when the company was initially selected to provide health insurance to the state’s retirees.

The Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug program contract went to Humana in a 2015 bid. Humana won a five-year contract with two options to renew for additional years. It’s roughly a $100 million contract.

So PEIA actually put the contract out for bid with the possibility of one more yearly extension. But the insurance agency for public employees wound up coming back to Humana anyway.

Ted Cheatham

“The personal approach that Humana brings will allow us to ensure the health and well-being of our retirees for years to come,” stated PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham.

The plan is for Medicare-eligible retirees to cover medical and prescription drugs. Medicare covers roughly a thousand dollars a person per month. PEIA supplements that.

Over the years Humana has operated the plan, rates have gone down 10 percent.

“We are honored that Humana has again been selected to provide health insurance to retirees in the PEIA plan for another four years,” said Tim Snyder, a Humana senior vice president.

“We remain committed to providing outstanding service and value to retirees who dedicated their careers to serving West Virginia and its residents.”

Dale Lee

West Virginia Education Association president Dale Lee said members of the union have expressed satisfaction with Humana. Lee was pleased that the company’s contract was renewed.

“The retirees that I talk to are very happy with Humana,” Lee said in a telephone interview. “When something is working, stick with it. It was the right move.

“Of course, I understand the bidding process also, and it makes me feel good that Humana values the business in West Virginia and values our people and wants to continue with the service to them. The service they’ve given our members has been very good and our people wanted that to continue, and we’re very happy that it will.”

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Changes in unemployment come during the next week in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 8,000 state residents receiving unemployment benefits under a pandemic-related program are in their last week of receiving those benefits.

Scott Adkins

Gov. Jim Justice announced last month that the additional $300 weekly benefit would end on June 19. WorkForce West Virginia acting Commissioner Scott Adkins said Tuesday independent contractors, self-employed residents and those who have been receiving extended weeks of pandemic unemployment benefits will all be coming off the rolls. Those on regular unemployment will go back to receiving regular weekly benefits.

Adkins said he hopes many of those residents going off unemployment will fill jobs that are available.

“There are jobs. You can drive around anywhere and see ‘Help Wanted’ signs out. They may not be the ideal jobs but if you think about it, pre-pandemic, those jobs were filled, now we have the pandemic and those jobs aren’t filled. So something happened that we can’t get people back to work and I think unemployment is part of it when you’re paying that extra benefit it creates a disincentive to return to work,” Adkins said.

Adkins said that’s true for everyone.

“Sometimes it’s a financial decision that they can support their family better by not working–so it becomes a disincentive in that way as well,” Adkins said.

The additional benefit began months ago at $600 a week and then was reduced to $300 weekly.

Adkins said those due to go off unemployment this week should still file their weekly certification this Sunday, June 20, in order to get paid for the final week of benefits.

“You certify the week in arrears and you should get paid Monday or Tuesday of next week,” Adkins said.

The state could have received the federal money for the additional $300 weekly benefit until September had Gov. Justice not decided to end it.

Sean O’Leary

West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Senior Policy Analyst Sean O’Leary previously told MetroNews eliminating the $300 could slow economic recovery.

“We still have in West Virginia and nationwide more unemployed workers than job openings and if you cut that off you’re cutting off that income because there’s not jobs for them. We hear that there are but the data is telling they’re not there. If you cut that off then their spending is going to go down,” O’Leary said.

Current unemployment

Gov. Justice announced Tuesday the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in May which is below the national average. He said 2,300 residents who were receiving benefits went to work. He said there remain thousands more without a job.

Governor Jim Justice

“We still have 43,600 people in West Virginia that are still unemployed,” Justice said. “We want to continue to whittle on that number and continue to see unemployment dropping.”

In response to a reporter’s question during Tuesday’s briefing, Justice didn’t indicate there had been any significant movement on his original plan to work with employers to provide hiring bonuses as an incentive to those who have been receiving unemployment. Justice said he’s still working on the plan but it won’t include anything coming from employers.

“We do have some new (federal) funds and we’re working with the legislature to see if we access those and maybe take a little bump and be able to get rid of some this unemployment in the state,” he said.

Unemployment Trust Fund

The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund continues to operate at a deficit. Adkins said a federal no-interest loan has provided the state with $185 million. He said the state plans to pay the money back once interest starts to be applied Oct. 1. Justice has previously announced CARES Act funding has been set aside for the loan debt.

Adkins said additional federal money will be used to refill the trust fund. He said Justice has set aside about $200 million, which is similar to the trust fund balance before the pandemic hit.

Turning a corner

Adkins said he’s hopeful the elimination of the additional weekly benefits resulting in thousands coming off of unemployment by next week will have a positive impact.

“We’re hoping those folks transitioning off of unemployment will start to be a little more aggressive in their job search,” he said.

COVID-19 vaccinations may also increase as a result, Adkins said.

“I think once they have to return to work that’s going to encourage folks to get vaccinated as well so they will feel safer at work,” Adkins said.

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More than 30 homes impacted by Lincoln County floods

WEST HAMLIN, W.Va. –– Cleanup work is happening in a number of small communities across West Virginia after several days of pop up storms which proved to be severe. The first of those communities to get nailed by a hard pounding rain was West Hamlin in Lincoln County.  A nearby creek came out of its banks mingled with backed up storm drains which were unable to handle the amount of water the storm delivered in a brief period of time.

Last Thursday night, more than two inches of rain poured onto the tiny area in Lincoln County and left a lot of damage in is wake. Lincoln County Emergency Services Director Alan Holder said 30 homes were impacted by the water. Three homes and one business were declared a total loss in the damage assessment. The damage didn’t end there.

“There was also a great deal of damage to the public water system and the town had significant damage to the sewer system and they’re still working to replace some of the sewer lines damaged during that storm,” he explained.

The Red Cross brought victims bottled water and other relief supplies. Holder added the Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) was also extremely helpful to those who had been impacted. Their work continues.

There was a stream in the area which rapidly rose, but it was something new according to Holder.

“We’ve never seen that kind of flooding in that area ever before,” he explained.

Lincoln County emergency officials have worked to buy out more than 40 homes in the county which were impacted in previous floods, but Holder said this event revealed a whole new set of people who are now having to cleanup and know what it’s like to experience high water in their property.

It’s unclear if the area might qualify for any federal disaster assistance.

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Missing man found in New River near Cunard

THURMOND, W.Va. — A Beckley man missing since a fishing trip over the weekend has been found downstream in the New River.

Rudy Cerda was fishing with some friends on the New River in the Thurmond area on Saturday. According to witnesses he was in one location sitting in the shallows of the river while the rest of the party moved to a different area to keep fishing. When those friends returned they found only Cerda’s shirt and cell phone.

Crews from the National Park Service, State Police, and other agencies had searched the river Saturday with no luck. Storms Sunday had stalled out the search. Monday afternoon, a whitewater guide found Cerda’s body downstream in the Upper Railroad Rapid near Cunard. He was about six miles downstream from where friends had reported last seeing him.

The cause of death is not officially known, but officials speculate he simply went into the water and drowned.

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Video, updates: Justice delivers pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

We’ll provide updates here about how West Virginia is dealing with the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

State officials have directed members of the public to a landing page dedicated to information about coronavirus in West Virginia.

Additional information can be found at CDC’s Situation Summary or at DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline, 1-800-887-4304.

11:05 a.m. 6/15/2021 Justice pandemic briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. 

7:40 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice waits outside development announcement because of covid exposure

Gov. Jim Justice offered video greetings from his vehicle at an economic development announcement in Morgantown on Wednesday with the governor saying he’d had an unanticipated covid-19 exposure.

Justice has been very public about his full vaccination but said he wanted to set a good example by remaining in the vehicle. Otherwise, he said, he would have needed a rapid test and a mask.

He appeared via streaming video and offered remarks at an announcement for an artificial intelligence company getting established in Morgantown. Clay Marsh, West Virginia University’s executive dean for health sciences, made the opening remarks as a substitute for Justice.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“He would be here standing in my place had it not been for a very unexpected exposure that he had recently to somebody who tested positive for covid-19,” said Marsh, who is also the state’s coronavirus response coordinator.

“And even though the governor is aware that he is fully vaccinated, he is really 100 percent protected against having any kind of problem with this — even with that understanding, and he does understand that well, given his experience we’ve all had with covid-19, he wanted to make sure he was working with an abundance of concern.”

Justice then appeared on a screen for everyone to see, wearing a checked shirt and leaning over to talk into a camera, with the interior roof of the vehicle as his backdrop.

“I landed here about an hour ago. I’m sitting out in the parking lot in front of you right now. I mean, I could throw a rock and hit all of you,” Justice said. “I hate like crazy that I’m out here in the parking lot. Believe me be.”

Offering some background, Justice said he had experienced a covid exposure on Friday and was informed about it on Wednesday.

“When I landed they told me I was exposed on Friday evening to someone. They told me they felt like I needed to be tested. And if that be the case, I don’t think I need to be in there until we know the results of the test. But I’m sure it’s fine. I feel fine, and I hate like crazy I’m not with you.”

7:37 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 2 p.m. 

10:20 a.m. 6/8/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:23 a.m. 6/3/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:22 a.m. 6/1/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

1:59 p.m. 5/27/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 4:30 p.m.

10:20 a.m. 5/25/2021  Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m. 5/20/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 1:20 p.m. 

12:19 p.m. 5/17/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 1 p.m.

10:32 a.m. 5/14/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at noon

11:45 a.m.  5/12/2021  Justice leads pandemic update

10:25 a.m. 5/10/2021  Justice leads pandemic update 

9:29 a.m. 5/7/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 11:30 a.m.

9:16 a.m. 5/5/2020 Justice leads noon briefing about covid response

8:04 a.m. 5/3/2020 Justice provides latest on pandemic response at 11 a.m.

8:04 a.m. 4/30/2020 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

11:05 a.m. 4/28/2021 Pandemic briefing by Justice at 2:45 p.m. 

12:45 p.m. 4/26/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

7:59 a.m. 4/23/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

11:55 a.m. 4/21/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon

11:55 a.m. 4/19/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon.

10:25 a.m. 4/16/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

10:25 a.m.  4/14/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

11:54 a.m. 4/12/2021 Justice to address pandemic response at noon 

11:35 a.m.  4/09/2021  Justice to have back to back briefings beginning at noon (income tax/COVID)

10:15 a.m.  4/07/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/05/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/02/2021   Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/29/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.  3/26/2021  Justice briefing at 9 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  3/24/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/22/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:20 a.m. 3/19/2021  Justice briefing 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/17/2021  Justice briefing 10:45 a.m.

11:15 a.m.  3/15/2021  Justice briefing at 11:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/12/2021 Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 3/10/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m. 3/8/2021  Justice briefing set for 10:30 a.m.

10:55 a.m. 3/5/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

This briefing was originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m. but now has been shifted to 11


10:32 a.m. 2/19/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

6:52 a.m. 2/17/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

9:30 a.m. 2/15/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 

9:03 a.m. 2/12/2021 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:30 a.m. 2/10/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11 a.m.

11:58 a.m. 2/8/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:48 a.m.  2/5/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11:30 

11:05 a.m.  2/3/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:34 a.m. Justice to lead briefing at noon 

10:34 a.m. 1/29/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:39 a.m. 1/27/21 Manchin applauds federal effort to increases vaccine supply

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released a statement about the announcement from the Biden Administration about increasing the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccinations to states and territories next week. The administration will also increase transparency by giving states a three week forecast of vaccine supplies.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration shows that help is on the way. I thank President Biden for staying true to his word and delivering more vaccine so quickly and will continue to work closely with him to further increase our allocation. West Virginia is leading the country in efficiently and safely distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics across our state have been operating below capacity because of the vaccine shortage. Now President Biden will ship out at least 10 million doses each week to get more shots in arms as soon as possible. Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is another step closer to ensuring every West Virginian who wants a vaccine can get one, restoring our economy, and getting back to life as usual. In the last week, I have spoken with President Biden and multiple White House officials who have assured me the number one priority for the Administration is quickly producing and efficiently distributing the vaccine. I’m glad to see them put their money where their mouth is and ramp up vaccine distribution.”

9 a.m. 1/25/21 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

12:07 p.m. 1/21/21 Justice plans noon briefing 

9:56 a.m. 1/19/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

8:51 a.m. 1/13/2021 Justice plans 10 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 13, 2021

8:49 a.m. 1/11/2021 Justice plans noon briefing

here is the livestream

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 11, 2021

11:31 a.m. 1/8/2021 Justice plans noon briefing 

livestream here

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 8, 2021

7:54 a.m. 1/6/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

here is the livestream

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 6, 2021

6:59 a.m. 1/4/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 4, 2021

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Source: WV MetroNews