Aug 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Letlow on losing husband to COVID: "I would've given anything" for the vaccine

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.), whose husband, Luke, died of COVID-19 in December, made an emotional, urgent plea on "CBS This Morning" for more Louisiana residents to get the coronavirus vaccine as the state faces a surge in new cases.

Driving the news: "He and I had prayed for weeks prior about the possibility of the vaccine and we were so excited that it was coming out and that it was going to be widely available," Letlow said in an interview that aired Wednesday. "And he missed it by two weeks."

  • Republican Luke Letlow was elected to Congress in a Dec. 5 runoff election. He died from COVID-19 complications on Dec. 29, just days before he was set to be sworn in.
  • Julia Letlow won a special election on March 20 to replace her late husband.

What she's saying: Letlow, whose state of Louisiana is experiencing an uptick of COVID-19 cases and has low levels of vaccinations, is using her husband's story to encourage residents to get the vaccine.

  • "It all happened very quickly. He was very aware and cognizant and speaking to people and then he kind of crossed over a threshold, where I started to see the color drain. And that's when it hit me that he might not come home," Letlow told CBS.
  • "I would've given anything, I would've given everything for that shot to be available for us. Looking back now, and for someone to turn it away, it's heartbreaking to me," she said.

The big picture: Louisiana recorded 2,112 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, breaking the previous record of 2,069 set on Jan. 7, according to WAFB.

  • The Louisiana Department of Health also reported 4,725 new cases and 59 new deaths.
  • About 37% of the eligible population in Louisiana has been vaccinated, per Our World in Data.
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