CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On this week’s episode on Inside West Virginia Politics, host Mark Curtis and guests discuss the latest COVID-19 news and the 20th Anniversary of September 11th.
COVID-19 continues to spread like a wildfire in West Virginia
In Segment 1, Dr. Clay Marsh, the COVID-19 Czar in West Virginia, talks about the spike in coronavirus cases due to the impact of the Delta variant.
Marsh says the Delta variant has caused this large spike as it can spread very quickly and that this strain of the virus is over 1,000 more spreadable than with the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
West Virginia has broken two COVID-19 records within the last week. According to state health data, Thursday, Sept. 9th, the total of confirmed cases was a record 1,738, only to be broken by Saturday, Sept. 11th’s total of 1,821.
The previous one-day high of more than 1,700 was set on Dec. 31.
To find where you can get vaccinated, visit the Department of Health and Human Resources website. Visit their official website to register for the ‘Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life’ Vaccine Sweepstakes.
WV Senator describes experience on 9/11
In Segment 2, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was the only member of our Congressional Delegation in the office on September 11th, 2021.
Capito describes that day, saying she was in her office in the Long Worth Building on Capitol Hill with some constituents from Harper’s Ferry when her eyes drifted to the TV and watched as the towers were hit. Capito says as they were scrambling around the office, one of her assistants pointed out the window and she says she saw the smoke from the Pentagon.
Capito said she was able to escape to a safe spot and watch it all unfold around her.
Capito discusses COVID-19 and Washington protest
In Segment 3, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) talks about the surge of COVID-19 cases not just in West Virginia but throughout the nation. Capito also gives her thoughts about the fencing set up outside the U.S. Capitol, which is expected to return ahead of the protest in support of the people that were arrested in the last Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
“I’m concerned and disheartened by that. Legal and lawful protest is something that is as old as our nation,” said Capito. “The ability to gather around the Capitol should be something that’s preserved. But I’m really disappointed we have to have another fence. I think it sends a bad signal to what we feel might happen at a protest like that. Think that’s changed the way our law enforcement looks at protecting us and protecting the Capitol.”
Reflecting on 9/11 and West Virginia welcoming Afghan refugees
In Segment 4, Ibtesam “Sue” Barazi, the Vice President of the Islamic Association of West Virginia and the leader of the West Virginia Interfaith Ministry, discusses what changed for American Muslims after 9/11.
Barazi says many Muslims became the target for violence, even when they had nothing to do with the attacks. She talks about how she and the other religious leaders in West Virginia have come together to work on many issues, especially after the attacks. “After 9/11 and after I retired, I saw the need to build bridges. Talk to people, let them know who we are. Invite people to the Islamic center, to the mosque. We had many events to let them know we are not your enemies.”
At this time, there is an effort to welcome Afghan refugees to West Virginia. Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin read a proclamation welcoming immigrant families at Charleston City Hall on Friday, Sept. 10.
“This is the time to step up if you are a goodwill individual,” said Bazari. “Afghanis and many immigrants who come to this country are going to do nothing but good deeds and provide services. They’re entrepreneurs, good for the community.”