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Gov. Jim Justice’s latest temper tantrum during his recent COVID-19/campaign-commercial news briefing showcased (yet again) his dangerous tendency to veer off into juvenile rants about ultimately inconsequential subjects. This endangers all of us in West Virginia during the pandemic.

He forced out Dr. Cathy Slemp, our state public health officer, over a minor error in the COVID-19 case count, which made it a little higher than it actually was. Justice used that as an excuse to say he’d “lost confidence” in a doctor who has a solid national reputation in the public health field. It makes West Virginia — and especially Justice — look petty and dangerously biased against facts he finds inconvenient. Justice refused to answer reporter’s questions about whether Slemp’s stated desire to slow down his aggressive reopening plan had anything to do with that loss of confidence.

Justice needs to admit he was wrong to fire Slemp, and let the adults with knowledge of what to do to keep us all safe give him the factual advice he needs. Otherwise, our coal baron, wheeler-dealer governor is going to lead us down the path that Texas, Florida and Arizona are going to right now.

Monty Fowler