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Rep. Richard Hinch speaks during the opening session of the New Hampshire Legislature on Dec. 2. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

New Hampshire House Speaker Richard "Dick" Hinch died of COVID-19, the state's attorney general's office said Thursday, citing the autopsy report. He was 71.

The big picture: Hinch is among the record 3,124 people in the U.S. who died from the coronavirus on Wednesday.

  • He had been formally elected House speaker on Dec. 2. He served as the state’s House Republican leader from 2015 to 2018, per CNN.
  • The state legislature’s swearing-in ceremony was held outdoors due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier that week, several Republicans who attended an indoor GOP caucus meeting on Nov. 20 tested positive for COVID-19, WCVB reports.

What's next: Sherman Packard, who was appointed Hinch's deputy, will serve as acting speaker until the House can elect a successor. The House is scheduled to meet Jan. 6.

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Health

California Rep. Raul Ruiz contracts COVID-19

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool via Getty

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: He is the latest member of Congress to contract the disease since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, forcing lawmakers to lock down in close quarters. Some lawmakers have criticized colleagues for refusing to wear masks while in lockdown.

Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Jan 20, 2021 - Health

In photos: U.S. cities light up for coronavirus victims

Doug Emhoff, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden face the Reflecting Pool as they observe a moment of silence at a memorial for COVID-19 victims at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Cities across the U.S. lit up to honor Americans killed by the pandemic, as President-elect Joe Biden led a national mourning during a sunset ceremony in Washington, D.C., on the eve of his inauguration.

The big picture: Standing at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, surrounded by 400 lights to commemorate lives lost to COVID-19, Biden said: "To heal, we must remember." From New York City to Miami, city buildings were illuminated as part of this "national moment of unity," as the U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 400,000.