Republican Rep. Ron Wright from Texas passed away on Sunday after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 67.
Wright’s campaign team announced his passing in a statement on Monday. He is the first Congress member who is in Congress to die after testing positive for COVID-19.
Last month, the representative announced that he has started his quarantine on Jan. 15 after learning that he came into contact with a person who had the coronavirus. The following week, Wright announced he tested positive for the virus.
According to a statement released by the representative’s campaign office, his wife, Susan, was at his side when he passed away and that he did so peacefully.
Wright stayed “stoic in the face of his health challenges,” the statement said. He was also “incredibly upbeat” when thinking about “the future of the state and the nation he loved so much.”
Rep. Wright Passes Away After COVID-19 Diagnosis
Wright was serving his second term in the house. As per his campaign office, the representative has previously been treated for cancer. It also said that for the past two weeks Wright and his wife “had been admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas” after testing positive for COVID-19.
More than 60 Congress members and 360 Capitol Hill employees have been found positive of COVID-19.
In January, after receiving the COVID-19 diagnosis, Rep. Write said he would continue his quarantine until doctors gave him the go signal. He also said he was experiencing minor symptoms but has been doing well.
He said he was “experiencing minor symptoms,” but added that “overall, I feel okay” in his statement. Wright then urged everyone to follow CDC guidelines. Wright also thanked medical professionals “who fight this virus head-on every single day.”
Congress Members Offer Condolences
With the news of Wright’s passing, several members of Congress offered their condolences.
One of them was House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Ron Wright was a fighter who passionately served his constituents, Texas, and America,” he said. McCarthy said he felt honored to have met Wright even before the latter was a member. He also stated that he witnessed how Wright “served his community.”
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives is sadly mourning Wright’s passing. She offered condolences to Wright's wife and family.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, Congress has put in place new safety precautions for the members and the people working at Capitol Hill. Now, it also offers rapid tests for members and staff. Many legislators have already received the COVID-19 vaccine as well, through the Capitol’s Attending Physician’s Office.