Letlow, who was scheduled to be sworn in on Sunday, announced via Facebook on December 18 that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. At the time, he said, “I’m at home resting, following all CDC guidelines, quarantine protocols, and the recommendations of my doctors.”
However, things took a turn just a few days later when he revealed on December 21 that he was at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, La., undergoing treatment for the virus.
By December 23, Andrew Bautsch, a representative for Letlow, released a statement regarding his condition, explaining that he had been transferred from St. Francis to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center in Shreveport.
Late in the evening on December 29, a statement to Letlow’s Facebook page, posted by Bautsch, confirmed his passing.
“Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, passed away this evening at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport due to complications from COVID-19,” the statement read.
“Letlow was admitted into a Monroe hospital on December 19 after testing positive for the coronavirus and was transferred to Ochsner-LSU Health on Tuesday, December 22, and placed in intensive care. Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, Phd., and two young children.
“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time. A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.”
According to CNN, under Louisiana state law, a special election will now take place to elect someone to represent the state’s 5th Congressional District. Letlow was to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Ralph Abraham.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was one of the many to pay him tribute. In a statement on her website, she wrote: “Congressman-elect Letlow was a ninth-generation Louisianan who fought passionately for his point of view and dedicated his life to public service.
“As the House grieves Congressman-elect Letlow’s passing, our sorrow is compounded by the grief of so many other families who have also suffered lives cut short by this terrible virus. May it be a comfort to Luke’s wife Julia and their children Jeremiah and Jacqueline that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”
Letlow was one of many politicians to test positive for COVID-19. Most notably, President Donald Trump and his family, as well as many surrounding the nation’s leader, were diagnosed with coronavirus over the last year.