Jim Justice said there's "no possibility in any way, shape, form or fashion" that he said "f------" during a recent appearance

By Benjamin VanHoose
May 06, 2020 02:56 PM
Governor Jim Justice
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
| Credit: Governor Jim Justice/Twitter

This politician is clearing the air of any alleged f-bombs.

Earlier this week, footage of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice during a press conference went viral after many viewers thought they heard him say "f------" on camera.

Justice, 69, was speaking about cautiously reopening the state's economy amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I encourage all businesses that are allowed to open to do so only if they follow the guidelines to keep West Virginians safe,” he said during the briefing, though it sounded as though he said "if they f------ follow the guidelines."

Later on Monday, however, Justice recorded an address to his followers on Twitter assuring that he did not say the curse word — and never has. He chalked up the moment to a technical malfunction in the broadcast.

“Today at our news briefing there was an audio glitch,” he said, “and it sounded like that I had said a bad word — a word that I would never say, nor have I ever said.”

Added Justice: “No possibility in any way, shape, form or fashion.”

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Closed captions for the official YouTube video of the Monday press conference, as of Wednesday afternoon, still reads "if they f------ follow the guidelines," though a press release on the governor's website transcribes the quote as "if they can follow the guidelines."

A spokesperson from the governor's office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for additional comment.

During the briefing, Justice also encouraged citizens to stay at home as much as possible and wear masks in public, even as West Virginia begins to reopen in phases.

"This disease is still with us. It is here right now," said Justice, adding that "things are really getting better" amid the outbreak. "And absolutely you should take all the caution in the world ... and use just good sense all across the board."

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West Virginia became the last U.S. state to get a confirmed case of the respiratory virus, with Justice announcing that someone tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on March 16.

“We knew it was coming. We’ve prepared for this and we shouldn’t panic,” he said at the time. “We should cautious. We should be concerned, but not panicked.”

According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been 1,242 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths in West Virginia as of Wednesday.

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