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Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Washinton state Sen. Doug Ericksen, a rigid conservative, died last Friday at age 52, his family confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: The Washington Republican's death Friday came a month after he told a local radio station that he had tested positive for coronavirus while in El Salvador, per CNN. Ericksen's cause of death has not been made public.

  • Ericksen was elected to the state Senate after serving six terms in the state House, according to his website.

Worth noting: Ericksen sent an email to state lawmakers Thursday requesting medical supplies and describing his plight, adding that he could not "get back home," according to The Seattle Times.

  • “Do any of you have any ideas on how I could get the monoclonal antibodies sent to me here,” Ericksen wrote, per the Times. “Ideally, I would like to get it on a flight tonight so it would be here by tomorrow.”

What they're saying: "Trudi and I send our deep condolences to Doug's family, friends and colleagues," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) wrote in a statement. "Our hearts are with them."

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.

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