A recently elected US lawmaker has died from Covid-19 – the first member of the US Congress to die from the disease.
Republican Luke Letlow, 41, had been elected as Representative for Louisiana’s 5th district and was due to be sworn in on Sunday.
He announced on 18 December that he had tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to hospital soon afterwards.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on the day of Letlow’s funeral.
“It is with heavy hearts that @FirstLadyOfLA and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family on his passing after a battle with Covid-19,” Mr Edwards tweeted.
I hope all of the people of Louisiana will join Donna and me in praying for Congressman-elect Letlow’s family, especially his wife Julia and their two children, his many friends, and the people of the 5th Congressional District. #lagov
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) December 30, 2020
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“I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a US Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family.”
Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and their two young children.
Letlow was admitted to hospital on 19 December due to complications from the coronavirus. His condition worsened and on 23 December he was transferred to an intensive care unit at a hospital in Shreveport, where he died on Tuesday.
“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” the family said in a statement published in the Monroe News-Star. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.