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Earlier today, Republican congressman Ron Wright died in Dallas, TX, at Baylor Hospital after contracting COVID-19. The former congressman tested positive for the virus about two weeks ago on Jan. 21 and commented at the time, “I am experiencing minor symptoms, but overall, I feel okay and will continue working for the people of the 6th District from home this week.” Wright died at the age of 67 due to complications related to COVID-19 and an ongoing fight with cancer.
During a pro forma session on the floor, the House of Representatives held a moment of silence to mourn the former congressman. Wright is the first member of Congress to die after testing positive for COVID-19. He came into office in 2018, taking a seat from another Republican, Joe Barton, who had stepped down after a sex scandal came to light.
In December, when Wright first checked into the hospital for his cancer treatment, many GOP members paid tribute to him by wearing bow ties at the Capitol, an accessory that he was known for wearing. After his death, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement offering her condolences, remarking, “As we grieve Congressman Wright’s passing, members of Congress are united in sorrow and pray for the families and loved ones of the over 460,000 Americans who have been killed by the vicious coronavirus… each death is a tragedy that breaks our hearts and demands strong, urgent action.”
Wright planned to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, but contracted the virus before he was able to. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that patients being treated for cancer have higher priority in receiving the vaccine, just behind frontline medical workers and nursing home residents. Within the state of Texas, the vaccine is available for anybody 65 or older or anybody with exigent health conditions.
(Sources: NBC News, CNN, WSJ, Washington Post, The Guardian, Austin American-Statesman)
Image courtesy NBC News
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