Weeks after winning his first congressional race in Louisiana, Republican Luke Letlow is reportedly battling a severe COVID-19 infection.
The representative-elect was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month and was most recently being treated in the intensive-care unit at a hospital in Shreveport. Letlow is just 41 years old.
A decisive win in state runoff election
Following his diagnosis on Dec. 18, he reportedly quarantined for a period of time at his home in Richland Parish as his symptoms worsened. He was reportedly transferred to the ICU on Tuesday evening.
Letlow won a runoff election for the state’s 5th congressional district on Dec. 5 with 62% of the vote. He previously served as chief of staff for Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), whose seat he is slated to fill.
A Twitter update on Wednesday provided a public update on his condition.
— Luke Letlow (@LukeLetlow) December 23, 2020
Several Louisiana leaders have tested positive
According to his family’s statement, Letlow is in stable condition and is receiving Remdesivir and steroids in an effort to combat the virus.
Several other prominent elected officials in Louisiana have tested positive for the virus in recent days, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is set to join Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s prospective staff. Republican Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser also announced this week that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Two Lousiana Republicans — U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson — have confirmed that they contracted the virus and have since recovered from it.
COVID-19 spread continues nationwide
As for Letlow, he was elected to represent the largest geographic district in Louisiana, which includes 24 parishes. The state was among the early major sites of COVID-19 spread after large groups gathered for Mardi Gras-related activities in April.
Nearly 300,000 Louisianans have tested positive for the virus and more than 7,200 have died as a result. The state ranks 22nd in the nation for its number of infections, but its death rate ranks even higher.
According to Forbes, 50 current House members — two-thirds of whom are Republicans — are battling the virus. Most have reported relatively minor symptoms, even among those who are significantly older.