BELTINGHAM, Washington — Ferndale state senator Doug Ericksen is sick with COVID-19 in El Salvador and can’t get antibody drugs to treat it.
Ericksen, a Republican representing the 42nd district in Whatcom County, has reached out to legislative colleagues for advice about receiving monoclonal antibodies, which are not available in that Latin American country, his spokesman Erik Smith told The Bellingham Herald on Friday.
In a message to members of the state house and Senate, Ericksen said he took a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after his arrival.
Smith said members of Senator’s staff were unable to reach Ericksen directly.
“We have been unable to reach Senator Ericksen, but we believe[the message]is true,” Smith said.
In his message to lawmakers, Ericksen said his condition was “such that I think it would be beneficial for me to have an IV or monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron)). I have a doctor here who can administer the IV, but the product is not available here.”
Former President Donald Trump was given Regeneron, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, when he contracted the disease last year.
Ericksen missed more votes than any other state legislator in this year’s legislative session, with some of his absences from legislative action taking place while he watched El Salvador’s elections.
At the time, Ericksen said that trip was separate from the consultancy and lobbying work he does for the country of Cambodia. He registered as a foreign agent for his work for Cambodia in 2019, and the company he founded with former state representative Jay Rodne once had a $500,000 contract with the country’s government.
The reasons for his current visit were not clear.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people should be fully vaccinated before visiting El Salvador, where current levels of COVID-19 are “high.”
Smith said he wasn’t sure if Ericksen was vaccinated.
Ericksen has spoken out against Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s demand that thousands of workers in Washington prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for waivers to keep their jobs, and called for Inslee to resign.
Ericksen’s 42nd district colleagues, State Representative Alicia Rule, D-Blaine, and State Representative Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham, expressed their concerns in text messages to the newspaper.
“COVID-19 is not something you want someone to get and I hope they make a full recovery,” Shewmake said.