A Washington state senator has died a month after confirming with a local radio station he was in El Salvador and sick with Covid-19.
State Sen. Doug Ericksen’s family announced his death through a statement issued Saturday by the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus, but they did not state the cause of his death.
“We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed away on Friday, Dec. 17. Please keep our family in your prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time,” the statement said.
Ericksen represented Whatcom County’s 42nd District, from Bellingham to the Canadian border, according to his website. He was elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving six terms in the state house, it says.
Ericksen told KIRO Radio in November he was sick with the virus while in El Salvador. The station’s news director said in a tweet Ericksen told them he was unable to leave the country and there were no available monoclonal antibody treatments.
In an email sent to lawmakers in Washington state on November 11, Ericksen said he “took a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID shortly after (he) arrived,” and asked for help in getting the treatment flown to the country to help in his recovery, according to the Seattle Times, which said it obtained the email from a state Senate staffer.
Ericksen had repeatedly called for the resignation of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, in numerous posts on his website. His latest news release, dated November 1, said the state was the “national leader in authoritarian government.”
“Throughout this COVID situation, Inslee has been out of step with the rest of the country,” Ericksen said in the release. “He says his vengeful act was based on science, but it’s certainly not the science understood by public health officials and elected leaders in every other state of the union.”
Inslee released a statement Saturday in response to news of Ericksen’s death, saying he and his wife send “our deep condolences to Sen. Doug Ericksen’s family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts are with them.”