State senator ill, stranded in El Salvador
Sen. Doug Ericksen sent an advisory email alerting members of his party that he had tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after traveling to El Salvador, KIRO Radio confirmed.
In the email — posted on Twitter by an anonymous account — the state senator said that he “cannot get back home” and decided that he needed monoclonal antibodies, a treatment for mild to moderate cases of the coronavirus that could become severe, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Bellingham Herald, the treatment is not available in El Salvador.
“Do any of you have any ideas on how I could get the monoclonal antibodies sent to me here,” the email reads. “Ideally, I would like to get it on a flight tonight so it would be here by tomorrow.”
The cost of monoclonal antibodies is currently covered by the federal government, although the price to administer the drug is separate and varies depending on the patient’s insurance.
President Donald Trump received the treatment when he went to Walter Reed Medical Center with a COVID-19 infection. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also stated that he was taking monoclonal antibodies for his case of COVID-19 in a lengthy podcast interview that stirred an uproar after it was revealed that he had misled his team and league about his COVID-19 vaccination status.
The United States reopened its northern and southern borders to travelers who are vaccinated against the coronavirus, ending a 20-month ban.
The borders formally reopened on Nov. 8, fulfilling a promise announced roughly a month before by the Biden administration. The travel restrictions were first imposed in March 2020 by the Trump administration.
Gov. Jay Inslee celebrated the original announcement in October, saying that Washingtonians “have long been ready to welcome back Canadians traveling by land.”
“The local economies of the border communities in Washington and other states are connected to our friends across the border, and their recovery from the pandemic has been delayed by the border closure,” Inslee said in a statement.
The Washington State Department of Commerce announced that it would release $2.6 million to support 206 small businesses and nonprofits in 10 counties that had been impacted by the closure.
Customer-facing businesses and nonprofits in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties were eligible to apply for grants worth up to $50,000 if they could demonstrate that they had suffered because of the coronavirus-related border restrictions over the past year and a half.
Read more of the Nov. 17-23, 2021 issue.