There are more COVID-19 cases in Kanawha County than any county in West Virginia, but liberal County Commissioner Ben Salango is nowhere to be found. Salango turned his back on Kanawha County, and fled the state’s most populous county for a statewide political bus tour during a global health pandemic.
“There are more COVID-19 cases in Kanawha County than any county in West Virginia, and liberal County Commissioner Ben Salango isn’t even here to help the people who elected him. First, he voted to cut funding for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, and now we have the most COVID-19 cases in the state, and then he flees Kanawha County for a statewide political tour. He has failed to provide leadership, he isn’t prepared to be Governor, it’s just too risky,” said Melody Potter, Chairwoman of the West Virginia Republican Party.
According to the Associated Press, Kanawha County has at least 1,315 positive virus cases and 28 deaths, the most in the state, county health officials said. The rate of positive cases in Kanawha County, which includes the state capital of Charleston, increased from 8.82 on Aug. 20 to 12.11 on Wednesday.
As Kanawha County commissioner, Salango rejected a budget request from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department that would have bolstered funding for an emergency, including the potential outbreak of a flu-like illness.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials asked for $160,000 from Salango’s committee – the same amount they received for three consecutive fiscal years – in February 2019. Salango led the charge to vote down the request, which health department leaders said would help “pay for unforeseen emergencies” like a global health pandemic.
Potter concluded, “In 2018, when the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department requested funding to prepare for health emergencies, like COVID-19, Ben Salango said no, and even went farther to cut funding for this critically important health agency. Because of these heartless acts by liberal Ben Salango, the health department doesn’t have access to the available resources needed to keep our citizens safe from a global pandemic. West Virginians can’t afford the inexperience of liberal Ben Salango.”