State Senator Who Fought Vaccine Mandate Stuck in El Salvador With COVID

A state senator from Washington who opposed COVID vaccine mandates has appealed to his fellow GOP lawmakers to send monoclonal treatment to El Salvador where he tested positive for the disease.

The Republican Doug Ericksen, who represents the 42nd District in Whatcom County, has opposed the pandemic mitigation measures of Governor Jay Inslee and has sponsored legislation to protect those who have not been vaccinated.

In an email to Washington House and Senate Republican lawmakers, Ericksen said he had tested positive shortly after arrival in the central American country and added, "I cannot get back home," the Seattle Times reported.

Ericksen said that he believed "it would be beneficial for me to receive an iv of monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron).

NEW: Washington Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale is stranded in El Salvador after testing positive for COVID-19 there, and has sought help from fellow Republican lawmakers to send him monoclonal antibody treatments.@OlympiaJoe: https://t.co/dapkdmBstC

— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) November 13, 2021

He said he had a doctor who could administer the treatment "but the product is not available here. Do any of you have any ideas on how I could get the monoclonal antibodies sent to me here?" the message added.

"We had somebody looking into it," Sen. Phil Fortunato told the publication, adding "it's obviously a more complex matter than just sending it through FedEx."

Regeneron, which has been approved by the FDA to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, was administered to former President Donald Trump when he got the disease in October 2020.

The Times reported that it was not clear what efforts were being made regarding the lawmaker's request and that it was unclear why Ericksen was visiting El Salvador.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends against traveling to El Salvador unless fully vaccinated where COVID rates are high.

Ericksen's spokesman Erik Smith told The Bellingham Herald he was not sure if Ericksen had been vaccinated against COVID and that he had not had direct contact with the lawmaker.

"We have been unable to get ahold of Sen. Ericksen but we believe (the message) to be true," Smith said.

Ericksen sponsored a bill to protect the rights of those who refuse a COVID-19 vaccine which never got a hearing in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

He has also been critical of state measures limiting the spread of the virus including social distancing and masking.

In October, the Freedom Caucus which along with Fortunato, Ericksen is a part of, called on Inslee to resign after state workers lost their jobs for not complying with the governor's vaccine mandate.

In a statement, the caucus said Inslee, "has used COVID emergency powers to establish autocratic rule."

Newsweek has contacted Ericksen for comment.

Washington State Capitol
The Washington State Capitol in Olympia. Republican state senator Doug Ericksen, who opposed COVID vaccine mandates, has appealed to fellow lawmakers to send monoclonal treatment after testing positive for the disease in El Salvador. David Ryder/Getty