Luke Letlow, a Republican congressman-elect from Louisiana, died Tuesday evening at the age of 41 after battling complications from the coronavirus, his spokesman confirmed.
“Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, passed away this evening at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport due to complications from COVID-19,” Andrew Bautsch, a spokesman for Letlow, wrote in a post on Letlow’s Facebook page.
“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” the statement continued.
Letlow died in the intensive care unit at the northern Louisiana hospital after he was being admitted on December 23. Just five days earlier, the newly-elected congressman announced he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus and was “at home resting, following all CDC guidelines, quarantine protocols, and the recommendations of my doctors.”
He was hospitalized the next day and posted that he was receiving treatment at St. Francis Hospital in Monroe before he was transferred to the ICU at Ochsner LSU Heath Shreveport Academic Medical Center.
Letlow received the drug Remdesivir as well as steroids during his treatment for the virus, Dr. G.E. Ghali, chancellor of Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, said in a statement.
Letlow, a married father of two, was a former aide to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as well as campaign manager and chief of staff for Representative Ralph Abraham, whose seat he was elected to last month.
Louisiana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle responded that their hearts were heavy upon hearing the news of Letlow’s passing.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, a Democrat, wrote in a tweet.
“Luke Letlow is now with our Creator, but his premature departure from this world is a huge loss to Louisiana and America. Just weeks ago, voters overwhelmingly chose Luke to represent them in Congress,” GOP Louisiana congressman Garret Graves wrote on Twitter.
“They saw what so many of us know of Luke – kind, smart, quick-witted, God-fearing, hard-working, honest and just a good guy,” Graves added.