Numerous Republican lawmakers have contracted COVID-19
Virginia state Sen. Ben Chafin (R) has died due to complications from COVID-19, his office announced on Friday. Chafin, 60, represented the state’s 38th district for the past six years.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus confirmed Chafin’s death.
“The family of Senator Chafin thank the VCU Medical Center in Richmond for its vigorous care and heartfelt support during his two weeks of medical services there,” Chafin’s office said in a statement according to The Hill.
Northam, who has reportedly ordered the state flag to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of Chafin’s interment wrote in a statement, “Southwest Virginia has lost a strong advocate — and we have all lost a good man.”
“I knew Ben as a lawmaker, an attorney, a banker, and a farmer raising beef cattle in Moccasin Valley, working the land just as generations of his family had done before him,” the governor continued. “He pushed hard to bring jobs and investment to his district, and I will always be grateful for his courageous vote to expand health care for people who need it.”
My heart goes out to Sen. Chafin's family and his #SWVA colleagues. This is incredibly sad day for the General Assembly.
Of my 17 bills signed into law, he voted for 15 of them, including all of the ones for feeding kids. He worked well across the aisle and will be sorely missed. https://t.co/5TC4lIVX5d
— Del. Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) January 2, 2021
Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment Jr. expressed his condolences saying, “Ben Chafin has left us a legacy of the best in public service.”
Since the start of the pandemic, numerous Republican lawmakers, many whom attended super spreader events at the White House, contracted COVID-19.
The news of Chafin’s death comes just days after Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R) died of COVID-19 complications. The Hill reported that Letlow, 41, was the former chief of staff of retiring Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), and was scheduled to succeed him in office.
Letlow suffered a heart attack on Dec. 23 following a procedure related to the coronavirus.
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