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West Virginia's governor was so disturbed by information on the Delta variant that he said he wanted to 'pee and throw up'

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WV Gov Jim Justice
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. Chris Jackson/Associated Press
  • WV Gov. Jim Justice said the thought of the Delta variant spreading makes him want to "pee and throw up."

  • West Virginia in recent weeks has been seeing a spike in confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

  • Earlier this week, however, Justice declined to enforce a mask mandate in the state.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The rise of the Delta variant in West Virginia and the fear of inadequately containing it makes West Virginia's governor uneasy.

During a coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice said the thought of the Delta variant rising in the state makes him want to "pee and throw up." according to West Virginia Metro News.

He said he felt disturbed when his top health officials briefed him on the virus in West Virginia. When he met with the state's COVID-19 coordinator and the head of state's governmental response team, he asked to be excused from their meeting to make a trip to the bathroom.

"Because the information is not pleasing that's coming to you," he said around one hour and 22 minutes into the livestreamed briefing. "It's tough stuff."

West Virginia in recent weeks has been seeing a spike in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which officials attributed to the Delta variant.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urges vaccinated people to now wear face coverings indoors. Earlier this week, Justice refused to enforce a mask mandate in the state, but said he would remain "open-minded" about requirements amid ongoing conversations with experts.

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Justice at the Thursday briefing said the state will take precautions in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus and particularly the Delta variant. But those precautions do not currently include a mask mandate or shutdown restrictions.

Instead, he said, there will be an emphasis on making sure there's enough personal protective equipment and hospital beds to handle the surge.

"I think I can see the enemy coming, and I really am hesitant to shoot or not," he said in the briefing. "But I know for sure I can see the enemy coming. At least I think I can. The enemy is this delta variant."

Read more: Internal CDC document warns 'the war has changed' with the more infectious Delta variant

About 42% of West Virginia's total population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New positive cases have been spiking in the state for at least two weeks, JHU data shows.

Justice's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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