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Rep. Clay Higgins during a 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) announced Sunday evening that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 for a second time and "this episode is far more challenging."

Driving the news: "Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was," he wrote in a Facebook post, confirming his son also has the coronavirus — which he described as a "biological attack weaponized virus."

  • This time round, the virus has "required all of my devoted energy," he said.
  • "We are all under excellent care, and our prognosis is positive," Higgins added. "We are very healthy generally speaking, and our treatment of any health concern always encompasses western, eastern, and holistic variables."

Of note: Higgins has advocated for people to get inoculated against COVID-19, but hasn't publicly stated whether he has been vaccinated, per NBC News.

  • He told Lake Charles, Louisiana, news outlet the Daily American in April that he believed he was "naturally immunized" because he had already contracted the virus.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases are again surging across the U.S. The seven-day average of new cases in Louisiana was up 67% to more than 1,500 as of July 20.

  • The Delta variant is driving the spike in most places. In Louisiana, this strain is second to the Alpha variant, first detected in the U.K., according to Axios' Coronavirus Variant Tracker.
  • Louisiana has seen a slower uptake in coronavirus vaccinations than other U.S. states, and fewer than 50% of the population had been vaccinated as of last month.

Go deeper: New Orleans issues indoor mask advisory amid surging COVID-19 cases

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay — Moderna suggests booster shots, citing clinical data.
  2. Health: 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising — Study: Gaps in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders alarming amid COVID.
  3. Politics: Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers — Axios-Ipsos poll: 60% of voters back Biden vaccine mandates.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 15, 2021 - Health

Pfizer says data suggests COVID vaccine boosters are warranted

A nurse administering a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 19 in Pasadena, Calif. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer told the FDA Wednesday that data from its clinical trials suggests a third shot of its coronavirus vaccine may be necessary six months after the second dose because of waning efficacy.

Why it matters: The FDA's advisory committee on Friday is expected to review Pfizer's clinical trials and other supporting and conflicting data on coronavirus booster shots and make recommendations on whether more Americans 16 years and older should receive an extra dose.

Sep 15, 2021 - Health

NIH launches massive project to study long COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The National Institute of Health is launching a nationwide series of studies with as many as 40,000 people to research the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Why it matters: COVID symptoms that last more than four weeks, usually referred to as long COVID, have become an emerging public health concern as researchers do not know the cause.