Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, is the first sitting member of the United States Congress to die from COVID-19. Rep. Wright died on Sunday his office said.
“Congressman Ron Wright passed away peacefully at the age of 67,” his office said in a statement Monday. It added, “For the previous two weeks, Ron and [his wife] Susan had been admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas after contracting COVID-19.”
Wright’s congressional office announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 on January 21. He said at the time that he’s “experiencing minor symptoms, but overall, I feel okay and will continue working for the people of the 6th District from home this week.”
The congressman was hospitalized last September due to complications from treatment of lung cancer.
Wright was re-elected in November to represent Texas’ 6th Congressional District. He was a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement Monday that Wright “emulated the very best of America, and we were fortunate to have had the opportunity to call him a colleague and a friend.”
“Our hearts are heavy with the news of Ron’s passing. Judy and I send our heartfelt prayers to Susan and their children during this very difficult time,” he said, ABC news reports.
His last vote on the House floor was on Jan. 13 when he voted against the impeachment of Donald Trump. He also voted in support of objections to counting Pennsylvania and Arizona’s electoral votes last month.
At least 71 representatives and senators have been diagnosed with Covid, according to GovTrack. More than 27 million people nationwide have contracted the disease, and it has killed more than 463,000 Americans.