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Louisiana Rep. Higgins says he, wife, son have coronavirus

FILE - Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 14, 2021. Higgins, who represents southwest Louisiana, said he, his wife and son have contracted the coronavirus. Higgins made the announcement Sunday, July 25, 2021 on his Facebook page. The Republican representative said he and his wife previously contracted the virus in 2020 but said this time around was much more difficult. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
FILE - Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 14, 2021. Higgins, who represents southwest Louisiana, said he, his wife and son have contracted the coronavirus. Higgins made the announcement Sunday, July 25, 2021 on his Facebook page. The Republican representative said he and his wife previously contracted the virus in 2020 but said this time around was much more difficult. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW ORLEANS – Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, a critic of mask mandates and public health restrictions during the pandemic, said he, his wife and son have contracted the coronavirus.

He made the announcement on Facebook Sunday night. He said he and his wife had been infected last year, but this time around is much more difficult. He has not said whether he has been vaccinated.

“This episode is far more challenging. It has required all my devoted energy,” he said. “We are all under excellent care, and our prognosis is positive.”

Higgins is the second member of Congress to announce in the last week that they'd contracted the virus. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican who represents parts of southwest Florida, said July 19 that he had tested positive. Buchanan said he had been fully vaccinated and was experiencing mild symptoms.

Higgins has said he doesn't support mask mandates or mandatory vaccines. In a May Facebook post, Higgins said: “If you want to get vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don't, then don't. That's your right as a free American.”

Louisiana is struggling with a fourth surge of the coronavirus, with the delta variant sending case numbers skyrocketing and hospital COVID wards filling up again.

Elsewhere in the Louisiana delegation, Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died December 29 at the age of 41 from COVID-19 complications. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise waited until July 18 to get vaccinated, saying he thought he had immunity because he tested positive awhile back for coronavirus antibodies.