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Justice: 'I'm not going to get in a food fight with Joe Manchin' on use of CARES Act funds

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) called Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats 'Just say no' just won't work for Senate Republicans MORE (D-W.Va.) a “professional politician” in response to Manchin’s claims that the governor had used CARES Act funding for unrelated purposes.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Margaret Brennan noted the criticism from Manchin, himself a former West Virginia governor, in regard to the use of funds for roadwork in the state.

“Joe Manchin is a professional politician. ... I'm not going to get in a food fight with Joe Manchin,” Justice said. “We have handled the CARES dollars here perfectly, and this state is being managed very well. If Joe wants to continue with all his political rhetoric and everything, I can’t do anything about that.”

Justice defended the use of CARES Act funds, saying that the roadwork in question was directly relevant to access to hospitals.

“We spent $50 million of our CARES $1.25 billion on medical access roads to be able to help people in West Virginia to be able to get to a medical facility,” he said. “Our roads had gotten in such terrible shape ... and absolutely we spent $50 million of $1.25 billion on road repairs.”

Justice, who has been vocal about keeping coronavirus restrictions and mask mandates in place, also called on his fellow Republicans to be “a little more prudent” about lifting them.

“For us to get on rock-solid ground, that’s the approach West Virginia’s going to take,” he said.