As the U.S. Senate prepares to hear its second impeachment case against Donald J. Trump, COVID-19 has claimed a member of the House, Ron Wright, a Republican representing Texas' 6th Congressional District. Rep. Wright is the first sitting member of Congress to die after being infected with coronavirus, although this is the second time Capitol Hill was shaken by an untimely death from this disease. Forty-one-year-old Luke Letlow died of COVID in late December, just days before his scheduled swearing-in as a Republican member of Louisiana's congressional delegation.
In the case of Ron Wright, a question that arises is why he hadn't been immunized. He was triply entitled to receive a vaccine: At 67, he qualified under the age priorities announced by Texas health officials. He was also a cancer patient, a second criteria. Finally, members of Congress half his age have made a great show of receiving the vaccine. After the congressman was diagnosed, a Wright spokesperson told the Texas Tribune that he had not yet been vaccinated, but had plans to receive a shot in "the near future."
That future never came, just as it didn't for some 38,000 other Texans, 465,000 Americans, and 2.3 million people across the globe who have perished after contracting this contagion. With new mutations of the virus emerging around the world, we are all in a race against time.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.