Rep-elect Julia Letlow, whose husband died from COVID-19, is urging Republicans to get vaccinated

Julia Letlow
In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Julia Letlow, widow of Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, speaks to members of the press at the Louisiana State Archives after signing up to run for the 5th District seat in Baton Rouge, La.

GOP rep-elect Julia Letlow, the widow of congressman-elect Luke Letlow, who died of COVID-19, urged Republicans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"Look at my family, use my story. You know, I experienced a tragedy in my immediate family and COVID can touch every family out there. And so, you know, there is a vaccine that has lifesaving capabilities. I want to encourage everyone to trust it and get the vaccine," Letlow told CBS's "Face the Nation."

Her husband, Luke Letlow, 41, was an incoming GOP congressman from Louisiana when he died from COVID-19 complications in late December.

Letlow ran to fill his seat in a special Louisiana election and last week won with 62 percent of the vote in the 12-way race.

More than a third of adults have received their first shots as the vaccination rollout progress throughout the US, but several polls have found that white Republicans are expressing the most vaccine hesitancy.

Recent polling by Civiqs found that 56% of white Republicans said they were either unsure or would not take a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available to them.

By comparison, only 7% of white Democrats, 31% of Black Americans, and 30% of Latinx Americans expressed hesitancy.

Letlow, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, told CBS both Trump and President Joe Biden have spoken with her.

"They were both so gracious and expressed their condolences and President Biden, who is no stranger to loss as well, shared with me that he understood the pain that I was walking through and that it will get better. And I know it will," she said.

Letlow is also the first Republican woman elected to Congress in Louisiana and said she has plans to advocate for equal pay for women, as well as accessible broadband for her district, which has a high poverty rate.

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