On Friday, Mountain State Governor Jim Justice held a press conference featuring his first pooch, English bulldog Babydog, where he dubbed her the mascot of the incentive and urged West Virginians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Justice cradled his pet and told viewers that if they were not planning to get the vaccine for their families and loved ones, they should “get vaccinated for Babydog.”
“That’s all there is to it,” Justice said in the video as Babydog gazed onward regally. “Now, she wants you vaccinated so badly, and she’s going to be the one to lead us on all these incentives.”
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice poses at his desk with his pet bulldog, Babydog, to urge COVID-19 vaccinations across the state. (Picture courtesy of the Office of Governor Jim Justice).
“And, without any question, she’ll give you a high-five right now, but you have got to get yourself vaccinated,” the Republican governor continued.
Justice said that both he and Babydog want West Virginians vaccinated and said his pooch came with him to “make you smile a little bit.”
The governor announced the Mountain State’s vaccine lottery on Thursday, where vaccinated individuals — including those only partially vaccinated — are eligible to have their name entered for multiple million-dollar prize drawings similar to Ohio, “10 Rocky Ridge” Ford F-150 trucks, and “college scholarships.”
While he mentioned the lottery plan is still being ironed out, the current plan is to use federal dollars from the CARES Act to finance the lottery. The first drawing will be happening on West Virginia Day, June 20th.
This is not the first time Babydog has made an appearance with Justice — she has been a staple of the Republican governor’s administration since before the latest Super Bowl.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s English bulldog wears a hat. The dog is the face of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout. (Picture courtesy of the Office of Governor Jim Justice).
Babydog joined the governor in February asking West Virginians to limit their Super Bowl gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic — where the canine correctly predicted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win as well as the final score.
The Mountain State pup also joined Justice in predicting the outcome of the Kentucky Derby last month.