USA Today Columnist Mocks Republican Who Died After Battling Coronavirus

FILE - Washington Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, talks to reporters on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Ericksen died Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, after saying in November that he tested positive for COVID-19, although his cause of death was not immediately confirmed on Saturday. He was 52. …
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

USA Today columnist Michael J. Stern appeared to mock the death of Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen (R) on Saturday, a Trump supporter who opposed vaccine mandates and who tested positive for the coronavirus in November.

According to the Seattle Times, the exact cause of Ericksen’s death still remains unknown along with his vaccination status. His death comes just a little more than a month after he tested positive for the coronavirus while in the country of El Salvador.

“We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed away,” Ericksen’s wife, Tasha, and his two daughters said in a prepared statement. “Please keep our family in your prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time.”

Ericksen (pictured) reportedly died on Friday. The exact reason for his visit to El Salvador has not been released.

Sharing an article from the Daily Beast, Michael J. Stern said the following in response to the state senator’s death:  “Anti-vaxxer conservative Washington state senator Doug Erickson has died…of Covid-19. On a brighter note, I’m making crispy brussels sprouts and shrimp for dinner.”

Stern was not alone in his mockery:

Though Ericksen’s vaccination status remains unknown at this time, it has not yet been reported he was an “anti-vaxxer” or that he spoke ill of the coronavirus vaccines. Multiple media outlets have since reported that Ericksen opposed Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) coronavirus measures, such as vaccine and mask mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns; no reports indicate that he opposed the vaccines themselves.

After testing positive for the coronavirus, Ericksen sent a message to his Republican colleagues asking to help him get monoclonal antibodies – treatment most effective during the virus’ early stages.

“I took a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID shortly after I arrived,” he wrote. “I cannot get back home, and it’s to the point that I feel it would be beneficial for me to receive an iv of monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron). I have a doctor here who can administer the iv, 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,” Ericksen continued. “Ideally, I would like to get it on a flight tonight so it would be here by tomorrow.”

According to the Seattle Times, Ericksen “eventually arranged a medevac flight to a Florida hospital,” though it is unclear where he was at the moment of his death.

Doug Ericksen strongly supported former President Trump’s candidacy and was one of the early backers of his 2016 campaign. Washington State Lt. Gov. Denny Heck mourned his death on Twitter Saturday.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that Senator Doug Ericksen passed away on Friday,” he said. “My heart is heavy for Tasha, Elsa, and Addi, who have lost a husband and a father. May they find peace and compassion during this difficult time. Everyone in the Senate is thinking of them.”


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