GOP congressman says he has Covid-19 for second time

A Republican member of Congress from Louisiana said Sunday that he was sick with Covid-19 for the second time as a surge of new infections hits parts of the U.S. with low vaccination rates.

Referring to the disease as the "biological attack weaponized virus" from China, Rep. Clay Higgins said on Facebook that the latest infection is "far more challenging" than his bout with the coronavirus in January 2020.

It was unclear whether the earlier infection was confirmed, and researchers have said there isn't enough evidence yet to know the virus's origins. Higgins said Sunday that he developed Covid-19 "before the world knew what it was."

U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)

Higgins, a former law enforcement officer first elected in 2016, said his wife and son also have the disease.

"We are all under excellent care, and our prognosis is positive," he said. "We are very healthy generally speaking, and our treatment of any health concern always encompasses western, eastern, and holistic variables."

Higgins has encouraged people to get vaccinated, although he has not publicly said whether he has been inoculated. In April, he told the editorial board of the Daily American newspaper of Lake Charles, Louisiana, that he had "natural immunity" because he had contracted Covid-19 before.

Higgins' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Republicans remain fractured over their vaccination messaging in a surge in coronavirus infections that public health officials have said is being driven by the unvaccinated. Louisiana has had one of the highest rates of new infections in the country and one of the lowest vaccination rates.

Yet in recent days, the number of people getting shots in Louisiana and other similar states has surged, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters last week.

"People in these states are feeling the impact of being unvaccinated and responding with action," he said.

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House Republicans Post Record Fundraising Ahead Of 2022 Race

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GOP fundraising has also been bolstered by former President Donald Trump.

The committee charged with helping Republicans wrest control of the House in 2022 raised $45.4 million over the last three months, a record quarterly haul during a year without a national election.

That total was bolstered by $20.1 million raised in June, the highest ever monthly off-year total, according to numbers shared with The Associated Press before a public filing deadline.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week announced that it had raised $14.4 million in June, bringing its second-quarter total to about $36.5 million — its best ever for that stretch.

The large sums signal that excitement is high among donors to both parties as they prepare for what is expected to be a contentious midterm election season. Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in the House, but Republicans have history on their side: The party that occupies the White House typically sees large losses in both the House and the Senate.

GOP fundraising has also been bolstered by former President Donald Trump, whose name continues to dominate fundraising pleas for small-dollar contributions, even as he continues to spread lies about the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

In its next filing, the National Republican Congressional Committee will report that it raised $79.2 million during the first half of the year, besting the $44.5 million raised in 2019 and marking the most ever raised for that period in the committee’s history. The committee now has $55 million cash on hand, versus more than $44 million for the DCCC.

But this year’s numbers were also bolstered by major contributions from Republican leadership accounts. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has transferred $12.76 million to the NRCC’s coffers this year, while House Republican Whip Steve Scalise has sent $8.39 million.

“We will take back the majority next fall and voters are doing everything they can to help us accomplish that goal,” NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement. “Every vulnerable House Democrat should be eyeing the exits because if they choose to run, they will lose.”

While the DCCC has lagged behind, it, too, has broken records, including logging its best second quarter in committee history.

“Our strong fundraising success shows American voters are rejecting Republican extremism and know just how critical a Democratic House Majority is to protecting our democracy and delivering for American families,” DCCC Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said in a statement announcing the numbers.

The Democratic fundraising totals also benefited from transfers from party leadership, though they were not as hefty as those from top Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s campaign fund contributed a bit more than $2 million during the past three months, while Maloney’s provided just shy of $155,000 over the same period. Another $283,000 came during the quarter from the campaign coffers of New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

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