West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) pleaded with his residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread across the U.S.
"If you're out there in West Virginia, and you're not vaccinated today, what's the downside?" Justice said during a press conference.
"If all of us were vaccinated, do you not believe that less people would die? If you're not vaccinated, you're part of the problem rather than part of the solution,” he added.
The governor specifically mentioned young people in the press conference, stating they aren’t aware of the consequences when they choose not to get vaccinated.
"The young people out there are the ones that are dragging their feet," Justice said. "The sun is shining, they're out of school, all is good in the world and everything, yet they don't really realize that they could be the transmitters that could be passing this on to someone that's going to die."
Only 56 percent of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 77 percent of people over the age of 65 are fully vaccinated and only 53.7 percent of those over the age of 12 fully vaccinated, the state’s COVID-19 data shows.
The governor’s warning echoes similar remarks he's made in the past. The governor said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that not getting the coronavirus vaccine is like entering the “death lottery."
“When it really boils right down to it, they’re in a lottery to themselves. We have a lottery, you know, that basically says if you’re vaccinated, we’re going to give you stuff. Well, you’ve got another lottery going on, and it’s the death lottery,” Justice said.
Officials are pushing to get those who are more hesitant about the coronavirus vaccine vaccinated as the delta variant spreads throughout the U.S.
Governors have been pushing for residents to get vaccinated, but Republican states and counties are falling behind in vaccinations with some seeing a rise in cases from it.
A recent poll released by ABC and The Washington Post showed that about 30 percent of respondents said that they are unvaccinated, and 20 percent of those unvaccinated said that they would definitely not receive a vaccine.
Thirty-eight percent of Republicans in the same survey said that the would definitely not get the shot.