A Wisconsin state senator who opposed mask mandates has been placed on a ventilator as he fights COVID-19, staffers said.
State Sen. André Jacque, a Republican from De Pere, tested positive for the bug around Aug. 13, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was mostly asymptomatic but was feeling fatigued.
But Jacque, 40, who has now been hospitalized for at least a week, was put on a ventilator late Monday, a spokesman for the lawmaker told the newspaper.
He was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday.
Jacque, who was elected as a state senator in 2018, has been one of Wisconsin’s most vocal opponents against COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates — including a statewide mask order implemented by Gov. Tony Evers, according to the Journal Sentinel.
It’s unclear whether Jacque had been vaccinated. The father of six was seen at the state capitol as recently as Aug. 11 while testifying without wearing a mask, WISN reported.
Two of Jacque’s colleagues have asked the public for prayers after he was hospitalized with coronavirus-induced pneumonia, the Journal Sentinel reported.
One of the state lawmakers, Republican Rep. Shae Sortwell, called on his 10,000-plus followers on Facebook to pray for the ailing Jacque, prompting a heated response from Jacque’s brother.
Pierre Jacque said his family wasn’t giving him much information about his brother’s condition, claiming they’re “afraid I’ll spill the beans” and disclose the truth.
“They’re brainwashed by ‘alternate facts’ now, so I don’t speak for them,” Pierre’s Saturday post read.
“Go get the vaccine. Or at least be honest and let your flock know that the ‘choice’ they are making is between effective scientifically-backed preventative medicine, or choking on a vent while their friends and colleagues hide their condition,” he continued.
A message seeking an update on Jacque’s condition from his office early Thursday was not immediately returned. His communications director, Matt Tompach, has asked that the family’s privacy be respected during what will “likely be an extended process,” WBAY reported.
“The days and weeks ahead will continue to be an incredibly stressful and difficult time for Sen. Jacque’s family,” Tompach said in a statement, adding that future updates on the lawmaker’s health would be released as necessary.