Politics Wisconsin state senator who opposed mandates tests positive for COVID-19

03:45  13 september  2021
03:45  13 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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A Wisconsin state senator who has vocalized his opposition to vaccine and mask mandates tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

a large building: The Wisconsin Capitol © Getty Images The Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin state Sen. Andre Jacque (R) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a text message Monday that he and several other family members had caught the virus and that he was being treated for pneumonia in the hospital.

"I do not know when I contracted Covid, but some of my family and I did test positive for it at the end of last week after I came home from Madison," the state senator wrote to the news outlet, noting that when he had tested positive he had felt mostly asymptomatic except for some fatigue.

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He told the Journal Sentinel that he did not think any people he had come into close contact with, including staff, were experiencing symptoms.

Following his positive test, he told the news outlet that his office "has been following all protocols and I personally reached out to the limited number of close contacts from last week in case I was positive at the time."

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In a statement to The Hill on Wednesday, Jacque's communication director, Matt Tompach, said that the state senator was fatigued "but in good spirits."

"Sen. Jacque appreciates respect for his family's privacy, and the tremendous expressions of support he's received from others. He's tired but in good spirits," Tompach said.

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Wisconsin is among the states that are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases as the delta variant rapidly spreads through unvaccinated communities. Though cases in the state had dipped significantly to under 100 per day on a seven-day average in June, COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1,000 per day on the seven-day average in August, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Roughly 53 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.

Last week, the Wisconsin state senator testified at two hearings at the state Capitol, including at least one in which he was not wearing a mask while he was speaking, the Journal Sentinel noted.

It is unclear whether Jacque was vaccinated against the vaccine. The communications director for the state senator did not respond to an inquiry from The Hill about it.

Updated: 10:55 a.m.

'Trust God to be our healer:’ As COVID-19 vaccine mandates grow, so are requests for religious exemptions .
Experts worry religious exemptions could undercut COVID-19 mandates, even though most major religions don’t object to vaccines. Anthony Fauci, top medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said religious exemptions are “something we should look at.” “If there is a legitimate religious exemption, fine. I am one of the people that respect the tenets of religion,” Fauci told USA TODAY's Editorial Board. “But if people make it up, and it's really a philosophical reason and they’re saying it's religious, that's not good.

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