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Home USA Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, dies from coronavirus complications; 'we're all in disbelief'...

Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, dies from coronavirus complications; ‘we’re all in disbelief’ | Coronavirus


#Congressman-elect #Luke #Letlow died #Tuesday evening from complications with COVID-19, shaking the #Louisiana political world weeks after his election to represent #Louisiana’s 5th #District in #Congress as the state’s youngest U.S. representative.

#Letlow, 41, died at #Ochsner-LSU #Health #Shreveport from “complications from COVID-19,” his spokesman, #Andrew #Bautsch, said in a statement.

#Letlow was admitted to a #Monroe hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on #Dec. 19th before being transferred to the #Shreveport hospital and moving to the intensive care unit on #Dec. 23rd. #Letlow is survived by his wife, #Julie #Barnhill #Letlow, and two young children, #Bautsch said.

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#He was in critical condition but had recently shown signs of improvement when he “apparently suffered a cardiac event this evening that was refractory to all resuscitation efforts,” said #Dr. G.E. #Ghali, of LSU #Health #Shreveport.

#Luke #Letlow was set to become #Louisiana’s youngest U.S. representative. #He died #Tuesday night from complications with COVID-19.

#Ghali previously said #Letlow was being treated with the antiviral drug #Remdesivir and steroids. #Asked if #Letlow had any underlying conditions that would have made his death more likely, #Ghali said in a text message, “none. #All COVID related.”

“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” #Bautsch said. “A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.”

#Letlow won election to #Congress earlier this month to replace outgoing #Republican U.S. #Rep. #Ralph #Abraham, for whom he served as chief of staff. #He was set to be #Louisiana’s youngest congressman.

“#We’re all in disbelief,” said #Louis #Gurvich, the #Republican party chair. “The world was his oyster.”

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#Letlow, of #Start, a small rural community east of #Monroe, beat out #Alexandria state #Rep. #Lance #Harris, also a #Republican, in a runoff election to succeed #Abraham on #Dec. 5th.

#He was well-known among #Louisiana political and government officials, having previously worked for #Bobby #Jindal when #Jindal was in #Congress and later in the governor’s office. #He arrived in #Abraham’s office in 2014 after a stint working for a #Denver energy company in governmental relations.

“#Luke has been a good friend for so many years, and we are saddened he was taken from us at such a young age,” #Jindal said in a post on #Twitter. “#We had talked in recent days about his excitement about the opportunity to serve the people of the 5th #Congressional district, and his love and devotion for #Julia and their kids.”

#Jindal said he first met #Letlow when #Letlow was a college student and spent “countless hours with him in his truck driving the back roads of #Louisiana. #His passion for service has been a constant throughout his life.”

#Letlow touted his government experience in his bid for #Congress, saying he would use his political background to work with #Republicans, #Democrats and government staffers to bring federal aid to the largely rural district, which is the second-poorest congressional district in the country. #He said his priorities were creating jobs and extending fast internet service throughout the district.

#His district, which he would have represented upon inauguration next month, encompasses 24 parishes and includes #Monroe, #Alexandria, #Opelousas, #St. #Francisville, #Amite and #Bogalusa.

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#When he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, #Letlow was one of many elected officials who had contracted the virus, including U.S. #Sen. #Bill #Cassidy, #Attorney #General #Jeff #Landry, #Treasurer #John #Schroder and #Congressman #Mike #Johnson. #Early in the pandemic, state #Rep. #Reggie #Bagala died from COVID-19, but no major elected officials had since succumbed to the virus that has killed more than 7,000 in #Louisiana.

#His death prompted an outpouring of support from elected officials and political operatives across the political spectrum. U.S. #Rep. #Garret #Graves, R-Baton #Rouge, called #Letlow’s death a “huge loss to #Louisiana and #America.”

U.S. #Sen. #Bill #Cassidy said his death “brings home COVID can kill. #To most folks it doesn’t but it truly can.”

#Gov. #John #Bel #Edwards said in a statement that #Letlow “felt a calling from a young age to serve the people of his home state.”

“COVID-19 has taken #Congressman-elect #Letlow from us far too soon. 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,” #Edwards said. “#Louisiana has lost more than 7,300 people to COVID-19 since #March, and each one of them leaves a tremendous hole in our state.”

The governor ordered flags to be flown at half staff on the day of #Letlow’s funeral.

#Mark #Ballard, #Tyler #Bridges and #Emma #Discher contributed to this story.





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https://www.nola.com/news/coronavirus/article_87489d82-4a47-11eb-9583-f3e4fa6891c1.html

##Congressmanelect ##Luke ##Letlow #dies #coronavirus #complications #disbelief ##Coronavirus

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