Republican Representative Ron Wright passed away on Sunday, losing his battle with cancer and COVID-19 at the age of 67, according to CNBC.
Wright was a representative of Texas and is the first sitting member of Congress to die of complications with the virus. He took office in 2019, not long after being treated for lung cancer in 2018. Luke Letlow, a Louisiana Republican elected in November, died a month later due to complications with COVID-19 before he took office.
Wright first announced that he had tested positive for the virus on January 21. He and his wife, Susan, were hospitalized in Dallas for two weeks while they fought the disease. “As friends, family, and many of his constituents will know, Ron maintained his quick wit and optimism until the very end,” Wright’s office said. “Despite years of painful, sometimes debilitating treatment for cancer, Ron never lacked the desire to get up and go to work, to motivate those around him, or to offer fatherly advice.”
According to data from GovTrack, at least 71 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19. In the US, 27 million have tested positive for the virus, while 463,000 have died of complications.
Texas will hold a special election to determine Wright's successor in Texas' 6th district. His death leaves Democrats with 11 more seats than Republicans in the House.