Texas GOP rep Ron Wright dies of COVID becoming first member of Congress to die of virus - after also battling lung cancer

 Texas Republican Rep. Ron Wright on Sunday became the first member of Congress to die of COVID-19, his office announced Monday. 

Wright had also been battling lung cancer. He had been taken to the hospital with his wife late last month after they were both diagnosed with COVID. 

His office did not say if he had been in remission from cancer before his death. 

While Wright is the first member of Congress to die of the coronavirus, in December Republicans lost Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, who perished from COVID-19 at the age of 41, just days before he was to be sworn in. 

'Congressman Ron Wright passed away peacefully at the age of 67 on Feb. 7, 2021. His wife Susan was by his side and he is now in the presence of their Lord and Savior,' Wright's office said Monday morning. 

'Congressman Wright will be remembered as a constitutional conservative. He was a statesman, not an ideologue,' the statement continued. 

'Ron and Susan dedicated their lives to fighting for individual freedom, Texas values, and above all, the lives of the unborn.' 

His wife Susan Wright continues to battle COVID-19, Wright's office said. 

'As friends, family, and many of his constituents will know, Ron maintained his quick wit and optimism until the very end,' the statement said. 'Despite years of painful, sometimes debilitating treatment for cancer, Ron never lacked the desire to get up and go to work, to motivate those around him, or to offer fatherly advice.' 

Rep. Ron Wright has died from COVID-19, becoming the first member of Congress to pass away from the virus

Rep. Ron Wright has died from COVID-19, becoming the first member of Congress to pass away from the virus 

Rep. Ron Wright (left) gives a thumbs up alongside President Donald Trump (right). Wright died of COVID-19 at the age of 67

Rep. Ron Wright (left) gives a thumbs up alongside President Donald Trump (right). Wright died of COVID-19 at the age of 67

On January 21, Wright's office had put out a statement saying the 67-year-old lawmaker had tested positive for COVID-19. 

After returning to Texas following the House's vote to impeach President Donald Trump a second time, Wright learned that he and members of his staff had come into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. 

Wright had not been vaccinated, the Texas Tribune said

He watched President Joe Biden's January 20 inauguration from home.   

Wright was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, filling the seat of retiring Rep. Joe Barton, and ran for re-election in 2020 despite his cancer diagnosis. 

Previously, Wright had worked for Barton for 11 years.  


Rep. Ron Wright (right) is sworn-into Congress by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left). Holding the Bible is Wright's wife Susan who has also been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19

Rep. Ron Wright (right) is sworn-into Congress by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left). Holding the Bible is Wright's wife Susan who has also been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 

In September, Wright had been hospitalized due to complications with cancer.   

Wright had three children and nine grandchildren.  

As of February 2, at least 64 sitting members of Congress had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to The New York Times' tally

That breaks down to 44 Republicans and 20 Democrats. 

During the January 6 insurrection, footage showed Republican lawmakers refusing to put on masks despite pleas from their Democratic colleagues. 

Wright's case was not considered one directly related to the attack. 

Condolences from current and former colleagues poured in Monday after the news spread of Wright's passing. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent out a statement saying the House of Representatives 'sadly mourns the passing of Congressman Ron Wright.' 

'Representative Wright was a proud sixth-generation son of Tarrant County, who dedicated a life of public service to the people of Texas,' she said. 'While his tenure in the House was brief, his service will be missed.'  

Making a broader statement about the coronavirus death toll, Pelosi said that 'Members of Congress are united in sorrow and pray for the families and loved ones of the over 460,000 Americans who have been killed by the vicious coronavirus.'

'Each death is a tragedy that breaks our hearts and demands strong, urgent action,' she continued. 'May it be a comfort to Congressman Wright's wife Susan, their children Rachel, Derek and Justin, and their nine grandchildren, and the entire Wright family that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.'    

Rep. Chip Roy, also a Texas Republican, said he had lost one of his 'closest friends in Congress.'  

'The last text I got from Ron was just over a week ago. He said "Still in hospital, but definitely improving. Praying for your family!!!" This was because my had a positive test amongst us, and he was constantly asking how we were doing, even as his cancer-ravaged body was in a weakened state to battle the virus,' Roy wrote in a statement. 'That is who he was: caring for others to the very last.' 

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, called Wright a 'gentleman who cared deeply about public service.' 'My condolences to his family and friends,' Castro said.  

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Virginia Republican, called Wright a 'friend, a gentleman and servant.' 

'I am heartbroken for his wonderful wife and family. Christine and I cannot adequately express our sadness and offer our deepest sympathies. God Speed, Ron... and rest easy,' Riggleman tweeted

Rep. Liz Cheney, the House's No. 3 Republican, said, 'Ron's commitment to public service, his tremendous work ethic & his commitment to conservative values inspired us all.' 

'We will miss him and send our prayers and condolences to the Wright family,' Cheney said. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will have to call a special election to fill Wright's seat. 

Wright's district narrowly went for now President Joe Biden in last year's presidential race, though a special election would likely bring out more Republican voters. 

The White House sent out a statement Monday evening on Wright's passing. 

The president and first lady said they were saddened to hear of the Republican lawmaker's passing. 

'He was also a fighter who battled bravely against both cancer and COVID-19, diseases that our nation will continue working tirelessly every day to defeat in the memory of all those we have lost,' the statement said. 'Our prayers are with Ron’s wife, Susan, their three children, and their nine grandchildren.' 

Texas GOP rep Ron Wright dies of COVID becoming first member of Congress to die of virus - after also battling lung cancer Texas GOP rep Ron Wright dies of COVID becoming first member of Congress to die of virus - after also battling lung cancer Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:52 Rating: 5

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