West Virginia chief health official dismissed

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) ousted Cathy Slemp, commissioner of the state’s public health office, on Wednesday, shortly after suggesting that the state’s numbers of active viruses were exaggerated.

“If we were in our game here at DHHR [Department of Health and Human Resources] and Dr. Slemp’s office, if we are in our game and you are listening to the Governor say that there are six active cases in Huttonsville and you are seeing the reports that you are putting together and sending them to me in active cases and you are seeing Randolph County and they are reporting hundreds of weird cases, so you’re not doing your job, “Justice told reporters Wednesday night, to NBC News.

“I depend on people, and I really depend on their precision,” he added. “I am really obsessed with the right numbers. If I tell you it’s a seven today, I want you to come back and come back the day after tomorrow and come back in three weeks and make it a seven.

The Justice office said Bill Crouch, secretary of the state health department, had asked for and received Slemp’s resignation after Justice expressed his “lack of confidence” in it. A spokeswoman for the state health department expanded Justice’s criticism and said there were discrepancies in the virus case data at the Randolph County Huttonsville Correctional Center.

Slemp previously served as the acting state health officer and was the founding director of West Virginia’s public health emergency preparedness and response programs. He is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His dismissal comes when West Virginia has reported at least 72 cases related to trips to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, as well as 70 cases related to religious services in three counties, even when Justice refused to take measures such as having the Facial masks are mandatory in public, according to NBC.