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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."

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

Go deeper

Updated 20 hours ago - Sports

2 tennis players test positive for coronavirus ahead of Australian Open

A tennis player (C) leaves hotel quarantine for a training session in Melbourne on Tuesday. The players to test positive for COVID-19 have not been publicly identified. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Two tennis players are among seven people involved in the Australian Open to test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Melbourne, health authorities in the state of Victoria said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Some tennis stars including men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had sent a letter demanding Victorian authorities ease strict coronavirus quarantine rules for players ahead of the season-opening tennis major's start on Feb. 8.

10 hours ago - Health

Fauci: U.S. could achieve herd immunity by fall if vaccine rollout goes to plan

NIAID director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that if the coronavirus vaccine rollout by the incoming Biden administration goes as planned, the U.S. could start to see effects of herd immunity and normalcy by early-to-mid fall.

What he's saying: "If we [vaccinate] efficiently in April, May, June, July, August, we should have that degree of protection that could get us back to some form of normality. ... But we've also got to do it on a global scale," he said at a Harvard Business Review virtual event.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
18 hours ago - Health

Demand for coronavirus vaccines is outstripping supply

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Now that nearly half of the U.S. population could be eligible for coronavirus vaccines, America is facing the problem experts thought we’d have all along: demand for the vaccine is outstripping supply.

Why it matters: The Trump administration’s call for states to open up vaccine access to all Americans 65 and older and adults with pre-existing conditions may have helped massage out some bottlenecks in the distribution process, but it’s also led to a different kind of chaos.