Louisiana attorney general has coronavirus, is in quarantine

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry was quarantining Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus, though his spokesman said the prominent Republican elected official has no symptoms of COVID-19.

Landry spokesman Millard Mule told The Associated Press that the attorney general decided was tested for the coronavirus because he had planned to attend events with Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence was traveling to Louisiana on Tuesday to discuss the pandemic response as the state sees a worrying resurgence in coronavirus infections. Among the areas of Louisiana with significant surges in the outbreak is Landry’s home region of Acadiana.

“The attorney general is quarantining, taking medications prescribed by his doctor and remaining asymptomatic,” Mule said in a statement provided to The AP. “He has contacted those with whom he came in contact. His work as attorney general has been uninterrupted, and Jeff Landry will continue his efforts to protect Louisiana’s families, freedoms and the rule of law.”

Mule said Landry was isolating “at his property” in Louisiana.

Landry is one of Louisiana’s most high-profile elected officials, constantly sparring with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

In the early days of the state’s virus outbreak, Landry stood with Edwards to support the governor’s decisions to close schools, shutter some businesses and limit gatherings, defending these actions as in the best interest of health and safety.

More recently, however, Landry was again publicly questioning Edwards’ continued restrictions on businesses and churches.

He hasn’t directly challenged Edwards’ statewide mask mandate, but Landry sent a letter to Louisiana’s education leaders opposing a face covering requirement at schools, saying it “may cross the line on liberty.”

Landry’s office requires its employees to wear a facial covering in public areas.