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The late Louisiana Republican Rep. Luke Letlow. Photo: Luke Letlow/Facebook

Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.) died in a Louisiana hospital intensive care unit on Tuesday night "due to complications from COVID-19," his spokesperson Andrew Bautsch confirmed. He was 41.

The big picture: Letlow was due to be sworn into Congress this Sunday. He announced on Dec. 18 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was admitted to the Ochsner LSU Health ICU in Shreveport on Dec. 23.

  • Letlow was elected in a Dec. 5 runoff, replacing retiring Rep. Ralph Abraham, for whom he'd previously worked as chief of staff. Another special election will be held for Letlow's seat.
  • He's survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two children.

What they're saying: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) offered his condolences via Twitter to the congressman-elect's family soon after his death was announced, noting "Louisiana has lost more than 7,300 people to COVID-19 since March, and each one of them leaves a tremendous hole in our state."

  • Edwards said he had "ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Congressman-elect Letlow's funeral."
  • Abraham said in a statement late Tuesday, "Luke leaves behind a legacy of service, a love for his community, and a love and understanding of people of every walk of life that will forever be unmatched."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.