‘We’ve got a monster that’s looming. There’s times in life where you got to stare down the monster. That’s all there is to it.’
That’s West Virginia Governor Jim Justice talking at a press conference on Friday about why he’s closing schools despite the fact that his state has yet to report a confirmed case.
“There’s a downside to this but it is the right thing, in my mind, to do,” he said, adding that schools would be closed as long as necessary.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study cited in the New York Times this weekend, West Virginia, which is more isolated in many ways than other states, also has a greater share of at-risk adults than any other state in the country.
As of Saturday evening, there were still no cases of coronavirus in West Virginia, with 38 people testing negative and the results for another test still pending.
Of course, though it’s not official, Justice is realistic about the situation. “We know it’s here,” he said. “I mean, let’s be real. It has to be here. We just haven’t found it yet.”
Alaska was the most recent state to announce its first coronavirus case.