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The Texas Republican congressman Ron Wright has died, after contracting the coronavirus.
The 67-year-old is the first member of Congress to die of Covid-19. In December, Luke Letlow, a 41-year-old Republican from Louisiana, died before being sworn in.
Texas has been hard hit. As of Monday, Johns Hopkins University recorded nearly 2.5m cases in the state and almost 39,000 deaths.
Wright announced he had tested positive on 21 January. On Monday a statement from his office said he and his wife, Susan Wright, were “admitted to Baylor hospital in Dallas after contracting Covid-19” two weeks ago.
Wright was already being treated for lung cancer.
“Congressman Wright had a rigorous work schedule on the floor of the House and at home in his congressional district six while being treated for cancer,” his office said.
Matt Langston, a spokesman for the family, told the Associated Press the congressman was believed to have contracted the coronavirus in Washington in early January, when the new Congress was sworn in. Another Texas Republican, Kay Granger, announced a positive test around that time.
Susan Wright was discharged from hospital before her husband died, Langston said.
Wright was elected in 2018, taking a seat formerly held by Joe Barton, a Republican who stepped down after a scandal over sexually explicit photographs.
The seat is solidly Republican but Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the House, have made stronger challenges in the last two elections.
Wright would be remembered, his office said, “as a constitutional conservative. He was a statesman, not an ideologue. Ron and Susan dedicated their lives to fighting for individual freedom, Texas values and above all the lives of the unborn.”
Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, called Wright a “principled leader”.
Wright is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter and nine grandchildren.
Source: The Guardian
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