Dec. 31, 2020 -- Luke Letlow, a 41-year-old congressman-elect from Louisiana, died Tuesday at a Shreveport hospital from complications of COVID-19.

A statement on Letlow’s campaign website said he was admitted to a Monroe hospital on Dec.19 after testing positive for the coronavirus and transferred Dec. 22 to Ochsner-LSU Health, where he was placed in intensive care. He was treated with remdesivir and steroids, the Washington Post reported, citing a statement from Letlow’s office.

Letlow, a Republican, was scheduled to be sworn into office on Sunday. He recently won a runoff to represent the state’s 5th Congressional District and succeed U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, for whom he served as chief of staff. Abraham decided not to run again.

The Post reported that Letlow urged people in his state to practice safety precautions such as social distancing, but sometimes appeared maskless while campaigning. He had urged the state government to relax restrictions to help the economy, the Post said.

“COVID-19 has taken Congressman-elect Letlow from us far too soon,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement. He noted that Letlow had previously worked for former Gov. Bobby Jindal as well as Abraham.

An election to replace Letlow will be held March 20, with an April runoff if necessary, The Advocate reported.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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Luke Letlow website

Washington Post. “Luke Letlow, GOP congressman-elect from Louisiana, dies of covid-19”

Governor’s website. “Statement from Gov. Edwards on the Passing of Congressman-Elect Luke Letlow”

The Advocate. Election to replace Luke Letlow in Congress to be set for March, officials say

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