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When the COVID-19 pandemic first burst on the scene, it looked like Gov. Jim Justice was going to be smart and rational and base his actions on scientific evidence to try and keep all West Virginians safe. Maybe, if it weren’t an election year, that would still be the case.

Now his actions — and increasingly, a lack thereof — are putting more and more West Virginians at risk.

Deliberately changing “standards” or “metrics” so we can, maybe, have things like high school football, instead of taking all steps necessary to protect us from a highly contagious disease, is, at best, political grandstanding and, at worst, unconscionable.

Then there is the matter of Justice’s COVID-19 “news conferences,” which have degenerated into little more than thinly veiled campaign commercials. His refusal to take followup questions, or ignoring questions that don’t fit his personal narrative, are another disservice to West Virginians.

We need a governor who isn’t afraid to answer legitimate questions, no matter who they’re coming from. He is a public servant, a fact that frequently eludes him.

West Virginia deserves better.

Monty Fowler