Doug Ericksen, a state Senator in Washington, died on Friday at the age of 52 after a battle against COVID-19. He was a member of the Republican party. 

Even though the cause of death was not immediately announced, Ericksen– known to be a staunch conservative– tested positive for the virus in El Salvador. His death was confirmed by Washington’s upper legislative house on Saturday, according to reports from Associated Press. 

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A screenshot of the announcement from the Washington state Senate, citing statements from Ericksen’s wife Tasha and two daughters, read, “We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed on Friday, December 17. Please keep our family in our prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time.”

Ericksen reached out to Republican colleagues last month saying he had taken a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after he arrived. The reasons for his visit were unclear.

The 52-year-old asked for advice on how to get a hold of monoclonal antibodies after testing positive for coronavirus as the medication was not available in the Latin American country.

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Before being inducted into Washington’s state Senate in 2010, Ericksen served at least six terms in the House of Representatives. Through his legislative tenure that began in 1998, he represented the 42nd district in Whatcom County, according to reports from the Seattle Times.

Ericksen was a former leader of former the United States President Donald Trump’s campaign in Washington. He also was an outspoken critic of Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency orders, and had introduced legislation aimed at protecting the rights of people who do not wish to get vaccinated.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously released travel guidelines for those wishing to travel to El Salvador, where current levels of COVID-19 are “high.”

(With AP inputs)