Washington State Senator Dies After Contracting COVID

SEATTLE (AP) – Doug Ericksen, a local Washington state senator and a staunch conservative, has died. He was 52 years old.

Ericksen died on Friday, weeks after testing positive for coronavirus in El Salvador, although the cause of his death had not yet been released. The Republican caucus in the state Senate confirmed the lawmaker’s death on Saturday.

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Ericksen, a Ferndale Republican, tipped off his Republican colleagues last month that he had traveled to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after his arrival. The reasons for his visit are unclear.

In a message to members of the state House and Senate, Ericksen asked them to tell him how to get monoclonal antibodies that were not available in the Central American nation.

The legislator quickly arranged a medical evacuation flight from El Salvador, said former state Representative Luanne Van Werven. The former legislator noted the following week that the senator was recovering in a hospital in Florida. No further information was released about where he was or his state of health.

Ericksen represented the 42nd district in Whatcom County and had been a member of the Legislature since 1998, according to the Seattle Times. He served six terms in the local House of Representatives and was later elected to the Senate in 2010.

Ericksen was Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Washington. He was also an outspoken critic of the emergency measures against COVID-19 ordered by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee and had presented an initiative aimed at protecting the rights of people who did not want to be vaccinated.

It is unknown if Ericksen had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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