Wisconsin State Senator Who Opposed COVID Mask, Vaccine Mandates Has Virus, On Ventilator

Republican Wisconsin State Senator Andre Jacque, who opposed COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates, tested positive for the virus earlier in August and is currently on a ventilator after getting pneumonia, the Associated Press reported.

Jaque, 40, was placed on a ventilator Monday night, his spokesman Matt Tompach said. It is unknown whether the state senator was vaccinated against the virus or not. Oftentimes, ventilators are the final method of treatment for COVID-19 patients when they have trouble breathing.

"While his condition is currently stable, the days and weeks ahead will continue to be an incredibly stressful and difficult time for Sen. Jacque's family," said Tompach.

Jaque is a father of six children and had said other members of his family became infected with COVID-19. He previously sponsored bills to ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates or proof of vaccination imposed by business owners or government officials. After the bills passed through the Republican-controlled Legislature, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed them.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

COVID-19 Ventilator Tubes
Wisconsin Republican state Sen. Andre Jacque recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on a ventilator after opposing masks and vaccine mandates. In this photo, a stock of tubes used for ventilators for COVID-19 patients sits on the shelf at a Stamford Hospital intensive care unit (ICU), on April 24, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images

Tompach provided the first update on Jaque's condition in a week.

He said that future updates would be provided as necessary.

Some COVID-19 patients who are placed on ventilators do recover.

Jacque said on Aug. 16 that he had tested positive the previous week after testifying at a packed committee hearing while not wearing a mask.

He is the father of six including an infant. The conditions of his family members who tested positive for the virus were not immediately known.

Republican state Rep. Shae Sortwell told his Facebook followers on Aug. 20 that Jacque "is in serious need of your prayers."

Jacque's hospitalization comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin blamed on the more contagious delta variant. New cases and hospitalizations spiked in August to levels not seen since January. About 51 percent of Wisconsin's total population, and about 61 percent of adults, have been fully vaccinated.

Jacque, of De Pere, was first elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and served four terms before being elected to the Senate in 2018.

He opposed a statewide mask mandate that Evers put in effect but that was struck down in March by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.