Fact Check: Politicians HAVE Died From COVID-19

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Politicians HAVE Died From COVID-19 Not Immune

Have no politicians died from COVID-19? No, that's not true: Various politicians have died from the disease, both in the United States and around the world. They are not immune. Among the politicians who have died are Herman Cain, a former presidential candidate; Ron Wright, a congressman from Texas, and Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Colombia's defense minister.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on August 25, 2021. It read:

When there is a deadly worldwide virus but it hasn't killed any politicians

This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Aug 27 14:07:21 2021 UTC)

It's patently untrue that no politicians have died from COVID-19.

Ballotpedia, a nonprofit, nonpartisan website, maintains a list of politicians, government officials and candidates who have died from the disease. Cain is perhaps most well-known. The 2012 Republican presidential candidate died in July 2020. Also on the list are Wright, who was the first member of Congress to die after a COVID-19 diagnosis; Luke Letlow, a congressman-elect from Louisiana, and Jerry Relph, a Minnesota state senator.

In total, in the United States, Ballotpedia reports that there have been three politicians who have died from COVID-19 at the federal level, 10 at the state level and five at the local level. Deaths among politicians have also occurred internationally.

In addition to Colombia's defense minister, senators in Brazil have died, as well as a number of African leaders, including Mohamed Ben Omar, Niger's labor minister, and Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe's foreign minister.

To date, COVID-19 is responsible for at least 630,000 deaths in the United States and close to 4.5 million deaths worldwide.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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