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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, opponent of vaccine and mask mandates, tests positive for coronavirus

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 1/20/2022 Ellen Francis
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton walks outside the Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton walks outside the Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who has challenged the Biden administration’s efforts to mandate vaccines, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office confirmed.

“He remains working diligently for the people of Texas from home,” spokesperson Alejandro Garcia said in a statement.

Paxton’s office did not answer questions about whether he was vaccinated or when he was infected.

Social media posts showed him attending a rally for former president Donald Trump over the weekend.


Video: A Look At The Status Of Vaccine Mandates In Texas (CBS Dallas)

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The attorney general, whom Trump endorsed, filed a lawsuit this month to challenge the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate efforts.

Paxton has staunchly opposed attempts by President Biden to make coronavirus vaccines compulsory for health-care workers in facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds, for troops in the Texas National Guard, and for staff members at Head Start programs. He has also fought requirements for parents, teachers and children to wear masks at schools.

Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers

The Supreme Court last week stopped the Biden administration’s most far-reaching initiative to boost the country’s lagging immunization rate, a vaccination-or-testing requirement for the nation’s largest employers, though it allowed the policy of requiring vaccination for many health-care workers to go forward.

Since the spread of the omicron variant began gripping the United States, a growing list of public figures including lawmakers and governors have been infected in recent weeks.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he’s ‘extremely unwell’ after testing positive for coronavirus

Paxton has faced securities fraud charges and accusations by several former employees who reported him to the FBI, saying he abused his office to aid a political donor.

Bryan Pietsch contributed to this report.

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