Politics

‘Death Lottery’: West Virginia GOP Gov. Issues Blunt Warning To Unvaccinated


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said people hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are “not thinking right” and warned they are playing a “death lottery.”

“They really are in a lottery with themselves,” Justice told Martha Raddatz on Sunday’s broadcast of ABC News’ “This Week.”

“You know, we have a lottery that basically says, if you’re vaccinated we’re going to give you stuff,” he said, referencing prizes that can be won in exchange for getting a shot in the state. “Well, you’ve got another lottery going on, and it’s the death lottery.”

Vaccination rates in West Virginia have significantly slowed in recent weeks, even though public health officials and scientists deem vaccines a safe way to fight the pandemic.

“Red states probably have a lot of people that, you know, are very, very conservative in their thinking and they think, ‘Well, I don’t have to do that,’ but they’re not thinking right,” Justice said. 

Raddatz asked Justice what he thought would encourage those who haven’t received the vaccine to do so.

“I hate to say this, but what would put them over the edge is an awful lot of people dying,” he replied. “The only way that’s going to happen is a catastrophe that none of us want. And so we just got to keep trying.” 

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