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Rep. Clay Higgins, a staunch opponent of masks mandates, broadcasts he and his household have Covid-19.

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Consultant Clay Higgins, Republican of Louisiana and an outspoken coronavirus skeptic who has drafted laws to make vaccine mandates a federal crime, introduced this weekend that he, his spouse and his son have Covid-19.

The announcement on Facebook, which didn’t present particulars on signs, raised many questions. Mr. Higgins stated he and his spouse had beforehand been contaminated with the coronavirus in January 2020, on the daybreak of the pandemic, when testing was not extensively obtainable. He didn’t say whether or not he had gotten an antibody check to substantiate a earlier an infection, nor has he stated whether or not he has been vaccinated towards the coronavirus.

“This episode is much more difficult,” he wrote. “It has required all of my devoted vitality.”

Mr. Higgins additionally asserted, with out proof, that the Chinese language Communist Occasion created the novel coronavirus as a organic warfare agent, calling it “weaponized.”

Republicans have increasingly stated, with no proof, that the coronavirus is human-made and leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China — some say deliberately. Though President Biden has ordered an intelligence evaluation of the speculation, most scientists proceed to consider that the virus emerged naturally from animals. A senior virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has strenuously denied the virus was created or leaked from her lab.

Mr. Higgins boasted in Might about his opposition to federal mandates to combat the pandemic.

“I don’t assist necessary vaccines, masks mandates or any type of required vaccine passport,” he wrote on Facebook. “In truth, I’m introducing laws making mandated or compelled compliance with medical procedures a federal crime.”

In Might 2020, he questioned using face masks, regardless of widespread settlement amongst specialists that their use was vital in limiting the unfold of the coronavirus.

Some public well being specialists suppose {that a} vaccine mandate could help nudge a greater share of the nation towards receiving the inoculation. About 49 p.c of individuals in the US have been totally vaccinated, according to federal data.

It’s unclear what number of Republicans in Congress have been vaccinated. The No. 2 Home Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, acquired his first vaccine dose two Sundays in the past — a remarkably late date, provided that vaccines have been extensively obtainable on Capitol Hill for months and that one Home Republican and one Home Republican-elect have died of Covid-19.

Mr. Scalise had initially stated he didn’t want the vaccine as a result of he had beforehand been contaminated, an assertion additionally made by Senators Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends that anybody age 12 or older — no matter whether or not they have had the virus — get a vaccination.