State Sen. Doug Ericksen, a staunch Conservative, former leader of Donald Trump’s campaign in Washington and an outspoken critic of the COVID-19 emergency call orders, died Friday. He was 52.
Ericksen had said last month that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, although his cause of death was not immediately confirmed on Saturday.
“We are heartbroken to inform you that our husband and father have died,” said Ericksen’s wife Tasha and his two daughters in a prepared statement on Saturday. “Please keep our family in your prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy during this extremely difficult time.”
Ericksen, a Republican from Ferndale, had been to El Salvador where he tested positive for the virus that causes COVID. He wrote to his Republican colleagues last month asking if they could help him with treatment.
“I took a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID shortly after I arrived,” he wrote. “I cannot go back home and it is so far that I would benefit from intravenous treatment with monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron). I have a doctor here who can give the IV, but the product is not available here. “
“Do any of you have any ideas how I could send the monoclonal antibodies here,” continued Ericksen. “Ideally, I’d like to get it on a flight tonight so that it’s here tomorrow.”
Ericksen was an outspoken critic of Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s orders and mandates to combat the spread of the virus. He had passed laws to protect the rights of people who refuse to be vaccinated and had repeatedly urged Inslee to resign.
It was unclear whether Ericksen was vaccinated.
Ericksen served on the Legislative Body since 1998. He served six terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to the State Senate in 2010.
On Friday it was unclear why Ericksen was visiting El Salvador – but it wasn’t his first visit to this or any other country in recent years.
Ericksen signed up with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2019 as a foreign agent to lobby for the Cambodian government and was awarded a $ 500,000 contract for his new company.
This treaty came about after Ericksen traveled to Cambodia to observe and ultimately praise the widely condemned 2018 elections. These elections came after government crackdowns shut down independent media organizations and disbanded a major opposition party.
Ericksen, a longtime enemy of environmental regulation, was selected by Trump in 2017 to be part of the transition effort to transform the Environmental Protection Agency. During this time he split his time between Olympia and Washington, DC.
As the top Republican on the state’s Senate Environment Committee, Ericksen Inslees had firmly opposed initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He had dismissed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming with statements such as “climate change will always happen”.
In his last campaign, he extolled his efforts to protect the farms, oil refineries and an aluminum smelter in his Whatcom County district.