While the coronavirus pandemic has impacted just about everyone to some extent or another, it has been particularly tragic for those who’ve lost family members to the disease.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is among those who have been personally devastated by the impact of the viral contagion, as she revealed in a recent interview with website theGrio that one of her sisters passed away from COVID-19, The Hill reported.
Waters’ sister dies from coronavirus
The congresswoman first revealed that her sister — now known to be 86-year-old Velma Moody — had fallen ill with the coronavirus during a floor speech in April in support of a legislative relief package being debated at that time, The Washington Post reported.
At the start of her brief remarks on the House floor on April 23, Waters said, “I am going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now infected by the Coronavirus.”
Unfortunately, the congresswoman has now revealed that her sister did not survive her mortal struggle with the infectious disease that has wreaked havoc on so much of our nation, too often in an especially tragic manner.
Nursing homes at particular risk
Rep. Waters told theGrio on Thursday that the death of her sister in a nursing home in St. Louis was “one of the most painful things that I’ve ever had to experience in my life.”
“She had suffered. And so we are going through a very difficult time. It was not easy, but in many ways, I’m so glad she’s out of pain,” the congresswoman said in the interview with the website, according to The Hill.
Waters stressed just how dangerous assisted living facilities and nursing homes could be for the elderly and health-compromised in terms of the coronavirus, particularly for black seniors like her sister.
“The nursing home is the only place we have for many of our seniors, many of whom have outlived their families,” she said. “That’s where they go. And now these nursing homes are like a petri dish for the continued development of this virus that is killing us.”
Waters further revealed that, in addition to her sister, she’d also lost several other elderly friends and loved ones to the terrible virus, and she urged black Americans to heed the advice of medical experts in terms of protecting themselves from COVID-19 by wearing masks while out in public, abiding by “stay-at-home” orders, and taking better care of their own health more generally.
Prayers in a time of grief
This is horribly tragic news for Rep. Waters, and while we tend to disagree with her vehemently on most political issues and oppose her incessant attacks on President Donald Trump, our hearts break along with hers for the grievous loss she and her family have suffered.
There will be time later to rejoin the partisan battle over the direction of the country, but for the moment, we offer up our prayers and condolences for Waters and hope that she and the rest of her family can overcome this period of sadness.