Louisiana’s newly-elected member of Congress moved to ICU with COVID-19

Published 5:52 am Thursday, December 24, 2020

Louisiana’s newest member of Congress is in intensive care with COVID-19.

Rep. Luke Letlow, 41, is receiving treatment at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport, according to his website and a post on his Twitter account. He had been treated previously at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, the post noted.

“The Letlow family is deeply appreciative of the medical team at St. Francis Medical Center … for their fantastic care, and is thankful for all of the prayers and support,” Letlow’s spokesman, Andrew Bautsch said in a written statement.

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Bautsch didn’t elaborate on Letlow’s condition beyond the statement, news outlets reported.

Letlow is receiving Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, said LSU Health Sciences Center Chancellor G.E. Ghali.

Letlow, a Republican from Start, announced Friday that he had been infected by the coronavirus and was quarantining at his Richland Parish home. He was admitted to St. Francis Medical Center on Saturday and transferred to Ochsner late Tuesday.

Letlow won the 5th Congressional District seat with 62% of the vote in a Dec. 5 runoff election against fellow Republican, state Rep. Lance Harris of Alexandria. He will succeed his former boss, Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican from Alto, who didn’t seek reelection. Letlow had been Abraham’s chief of staff. He is scheduled to be sworn in next month.

Louisiana’s 5th District is the largest geographically, covering 24 parishes. Alexandria and Monroe are the population hubs, but the boundaries dip into Acadiana to take in Opelousas and into the Florida parishes to take in Bogalusa.

Letlow was the third high-profile Louisiana politician in two days to say he had been infected. Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is leaving Congress to become a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s White House staff, and Republican Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser both said Thursday that they had tested positive for the virus.

Richmond will be a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Two Republicans in Louisiana’s congressional delegation — U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson — have publicly said they’ve recovered from the virus.