Luke Letlow, a Republican who was elected to the House of Representatives this fall to represent Louisiana’s fifth Congressional district, has died of complications from Covid-19, a congressman from the state said. He was 41.
Mr. Letlow was set to take office on Sunday. His death was confirmed by Representative Garret Graves of Louisiana, who said in a Facebook post that the death of his “friend, former co-worker, a husband to Julia, a father to two very young children” was “a huge loss to Louisiana and America.”
Mr. Letlow was hospitalized this month with Covid-19. He was transferred to the Shreveport Academic Medical Center, Andrew Bautsch, the executive director of the state Republican Party, said on Dec. 23, where Mr. Letlow was in “stable condition.” He had been receiving the antiviral drug remdesivir and steroids to treat his infection, Mr. Bautsch said.
Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said on Tuesday evening that Covid-19 had “taken Congressman-elect Letlow from us far too soon.” Mr. Edwards, a Democrat, said he had ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Mr. Letlow’s funeral.
“I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a U.S. Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family,” Mr. Edwards said.
Representative Mike Johnson, a Republican who represents the state’s fourth Congressional district, issued a statement on behalf of the state’s six-member Congressional delegation: “We are devastated to hear of Luke Letlow’s passing. Luke had such a positive spirit, and he had a tremendously bright future ahead of him. He was looking forward to serving the people of Louisiana in Congress, and we were excited to welcome him to our delegation where he was ready to make an even greater impact on our state and our nation.”
Other elected officials to die from Covid include several state legislators: a Republican state senator from Minnesota, New Hampshire’s new Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, and in North Dakota, David Dean Andahl, a Republican known as “Dakota Dave,” who was elected posthumously to the state House of Representatives after dying from the virus.