Sen. Ben Chafin (R) of the State of Virginia died of complications from COVID-19, his office announced on Friday. He’s 60 years old.
The passing of Chafin, who for the past six years represented the 38th district of the state, was confirmed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and the Republican Caucus of the Virginia Senate.
According to CBS’ Richmond affiliate station, WTVR-TV, his office said in a statement, “The family of Senator Chafin thank the VCU Medical Center in Richmond for its vigorous care and Heartfelt support throughout his two weeks of medical care,
In a statement, Northam wrote that “Southwest Virginia has lost a powerful advocate and we have all lost a good man.”
I knew Ben as a lawyer, a lawyer, a banker, and a farmer raising beef cattle in the Moccasin Valley, working the land just like his family had done before, him for generations,” the governor said. “He has pushed difficult to convince his city jobs and investment, and I will always be proud and happy for his effective vote to expand health care for people who need it.”
The Virginia state flag has reportedly ordered by Northam to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of Chafin’s burial.
In mid-December, when he was hospitalised at VCU, lawmakers and others in political circles heard about Chafin contracting the virus, according to The Roanoke Times.
While COVID-19 has been contracted since the start of the pandemic by other Virginia lawmakers, Chafin is the first to die from health problems.
Fellow lawmakers expressed their condolences after news of Chafin’s passing Friday, with Republican State Senate Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. Saying, “According to WTVR, Ben Chafin has chose to quit us a legacy of the best in public service.”
Normt went on to say, “He served to ensure that his region and community, and the people he loved, would never be forgotten.” “By emulating his commitment and dedication, may we cherish his brain.”
The news comes just days after Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R) passed away at the age of 41 from COVID-19 complications. Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), whom he previously served as chief of staff, was expected to succeed in retiring.
Before being transferred to the Health ICU of Ochsner LSU on Dec. 23, Letlow was first admitted to St. Francis Medical Center due to coronavirus complications on Dec. 19. Following a procedure linked to the virus, he suffered a heart attack.