A representative-elect from Louisiana died of Covid-19 Tuesday, December 29 the first member of the U.S. Congress to succumb to the disease, AFP reports.
Republican Luke Letlow, 41, had been elected to Louisiana's 5th district and was due to be sworn in on Sunday.
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards announced the news on Twitter with a "heavy heart."
"I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a US Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family," he wrote.
Edwards said he had ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Letlow's funeral.
Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two young children. He had announced on December 18 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was quarantining at home. He was hospitalized three days later.
The US has seen a troubling surge in coronavirus cases in recent months. As of Monday evening, the country had recorded 19,526,228 cases with 337,918 deaths, both by far the worst tolls in the world.