Less than a week before taking office, 41-year-old Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow has died from COVID-19

luke letlow
In this July 22, 2020 file photo, Luke Letlow, R-Start, chief of staff to exiting US Rep. Ralph Abraham, speaks after signing up to run for Louisiana's 5th Congressional District in Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Louisiana GOP Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died from COVID-19 less than two weeks after announcing that he tested positive for the virus. 
  • He was set to be sworn into Congress on Sunday. 
  • Letlow, who was 41-years-old, had been in the ICU since December 23. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Louisiana GOP Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died from COVID-19 on Tuesday. 

"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," Louisana Governor John Bel Edwards wrote in a tweet

The 41-year-old announced he tested positive for the coronavirus on December 18. The next day he was admitted to St. Francis Medical Center as his symptoms persisted, the Monroe News Star reported. On December 22, he was transferred to Ochsner LSU Health ICU where he died. 

While a patient at St. Francis Medical Center, Letlow encouraged his constituents to donate blood and plasma. 

"While here, I've learned firsthand how important plasma and blood donations are during this pandemic," he wrote in a Facebook message. "For those who've had Covid already, your plasma is ESPECIALLY needed by those who are suffering. I cannot stress this enough. Please consider saving lives by going out and donating at your local blood bank. It may very well be the gift of life that you are giving a family this Christmas."

He was to be sworn in at the next congressional session on January 3. Letlow won his district in a runoff election against Republican Rep. Lance Harris with 62% of the vote, the Star reported. 

Letlow previously served as chief of staff to former Rep. Ralph Abraham before being elected, Politico reported. 

Abraham released a statement on Facebook which read in part, "There was no one like Luke Letlow, and there was no one who loved this state and its people more. Luke was a part of our family, and we are so incredibly proud of the man he was."

House leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, offered their condolences over Letlow's passing. "Congressman-elect Letlow was a ninth-generation Louisianan who fought passionately for his point of view and dedicated his life to public service," she wrote.

He is survived by his wife, and two children. 

Louisiana has had more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus since March, and more 7,300 people in the state have died from it.

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