West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice tested positive for COVID-19 and it was reported he was feeling "extremely unwell," his office announced.
In a statement, the 70-year-old Justice, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, said he woke up Tuesday with a cough and congestion, then developed a headache and fever.
He said though his initial rapid test for the coronavirus came back negative, a more sensitive PCR test was administered and it was positive.
"While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I’m thankful to the Lord above that I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family," Justice said in the statement. "That being said, I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature."
Justice received a course of monoclonal antibody treatment Tuesday on the recommendation of his physicians, with his age placing him at a higher risk of severe illness, according to the governor’s office statement.
West Virginia first lady Cathy Justice tested negative Tuesday night.
"For this to happen just one night before the State of the State — knowing I won’t be able to be there — saddens me. There are so many great things happening in West Virginia right now," Justice said in his statement.
"So I apologize in every way for not being able to join you tomorrow night, and I especially apologize to all our invited guests who are having to change their plans. I’ll be back in front of you in-person before you know it."
West Virginia's COVID-19 Czar, Dr. Clay Marsh, who is also one of Justice's physicians, said in the governor’s office announcement, adding he has "full confidence that Governor Justice will recover quickly, and it’s because he chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and his booster shot."
"Without the immunity afforded by those vaccines, his outcome could be much worse," Marsh said.
Justice has been among the most vocal GOP proponents of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the pandemic, launching sweepstakes and asking that residents get immunized for the sake of his English bulldog Babydog.
Last week, Justice announced that he had requested permission from President Joe Biden to begin administering fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in light of the omicron variant's spread, The Hill reported.
The governor’s illness comes after West Virginia shattered a seven-day record for positive coronavirus cases for the second straight week while hospitalizations hit a three-month high, according to health figures, the Associated Press reported.
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