US: Republican representative-elect dies of COVID-19

NEW YORK, NY

A new congressman set to be sworn in next week died Tuesday of COVID-19, according to local reports.

Republican Luke Letlow, 41, who won his seat on Nov. 3 for the state of Louisiana, was first admitted to St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Louisiana on Dec. 19 due to complications from the novel coronavirus.

As his condition worsened, he was transferred to the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center in the same state on Dec. 23, according to a statement on his Twitter account.

The Congressman-elect was in stable condition in the intensive care unit where he was receiving Remdesivir, one of the treatments President Donald Trump received when he was hospitalized in October due to COVID-19.

Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two young children – Jeremiah, 3, and Jacqueline, just 11 months.

“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” his spokesman Andrew Bautsch said in a statement to the Monroe News-Star.

“A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time,” it added.

Letlow was set to succeed his boss, retiring Representative Ralph Abraham, a Republican from Louisiana, for whom he served as chief of staff since December 2014. Abraham publicly endorsed Letlow after he announced he was running.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, offered his condolences to Letlow’s family on Twitter and ordered flags in the Southern state to be flown at half-staff on the day of his funeral.

“Louisiana has lost more than 7,300 people to COVID-19 since March, and each one of them leaves a tremendous hole in our state,” he wrote in a separate tweet.

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