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

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton leaves the U.S. Supreme Court following arguments over a challenge to a Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks in Washington, U.S., November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein (Evelyn Hockstein / reuters)
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, R, who has challenged the Biden administration's efforts to mandate vaccines, reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Texas Tribune and other news outlets, including the Associated Press, cited communications staffers at the attorney general's office as saying he is working from home.

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It's unclear whether Paxton was vaccinated or when he was infected. His office did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Social media posts showed him attending a rally for former president Donald Trump over the weekend.

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 Joe 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.

Video: England drops mask mandate as part of easing coronavirus rules

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.

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.

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The Washington Post's Bryan Pietsch contributed to this report.

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