A Republican state senator and vaccine mandate opponent who was hospitalized with COVID-19 more than a month ago is now out of the hospital and undergoing respiratory therapy, his office said Tuesday.
Sen. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, and his family “wish to thank everyone for the prayers and good wishes that are making his recovery possible,” spokesperson Matthew Tompach said.
“Sen. Jacque is doing much better; he is in touch with his staff on legislative and district issues, and he is reaching out to his friends and colleagues,” Tompach said in an email. “While Sen. Jacque has a ways to go as he continues respiratory and occupational therapy, he is feeling good mentally, breathing well, and making substantial progress toward regaining his health.”
Tompach later confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Jacque had been transferred to another care facility “to continue the rehabilitation phase of his recovery.” He did not say what kind of facility.
Jacque, 40, who has six children, said on Aug. 16 that he was at the hospital with pneumonia but he was largely asymptomatic with the exception of fatigue. One week later, Jacque’s office confirmed that he had been intubated and placed on a ventilator on Aug. 23.
Jacque’s positive test and hospitalization came days after he testified without wearing a mask in a packed hearing room at the state Capitol. The senator’s office has not responded to questions about whether Jacque has been vaccinated.
Jacque has been an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and has sponsored bills that would prevent government officials or business owners from requiring proof of vaccination. Like other Republicans, Jacque opposed the statewide mask mandate that the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down in March.
On Monday, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch announced she had tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the Republican gubernatorial candidate to cancel all upcoming in-person campaign events just days after launching her bid for governor.
Kleefisch, who is vaccinated, said she was feeling fine as of Monday afternoon.
Wisconsin residents not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were 3.9 times more likely to test positive for the disease in August than those fully vaccinated, 8.6 times more likely to be hospitalized and 10.6 times more likely to die from the disease, according to the state Department of Health Services.
As of Monday, 1,099 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the Wisconsin, the highest since early January, 334 of them in intensive care, the highest since early December, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
The state reported 3,633 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, for a daily average of nearly 2,967 cases, the highest since early January. Another 17 deaths were reported.