Minnesota State Sen. Jerry Relph (R) has died from complications related to COVID-19, Minnesota’s WCCO confirmed Friday.
Relph was elected to Minnesota’s 14th District in 2016 and lost his bid for re-election back in November, according to MPR News. The Republican is suspected to have contracted the virus after a meeting with several other GOP colleagues last month.
Relph was a 76-year-old Vietnam War veteran and is reportedly survived by his wife and two children, four stepchildren, and numerous grandchildren.
The toll of the virus
Relph was yet another hard-working American who has been taken by this virus and his passing further exemplifies the very real toll of this disease.
Relph’s wife, Pegi Broker-Relph, released a statement, saying: “I’m heartbroken to share that my husband, Jerry Relph, has passed away and entered his heavenly home. Jerry was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He was a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, an attorney, small businessman, and dedicated public servant in the Minnesota Senate. Jerry dedicated his life to service and representing Senate District 14 was one of the highest honors he had.”
No doubt, Relph was a figure who was beloved and worked hard to make life better for his constituents.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) responded to the news of Relph’s passing with a statement of his own. “Terrible news,” he said. “As a Vietnam veteran, small business owner, and State Senator, Jerry lived his entire life in service to his community. Gwen and I are keeping his family in our prayers.”
A vaccine may be the answer
With headlines like these continuing to hit newsstands, it’s becoming clearer than ever Americans can’t let the fear-mongering and misinformation peddled by those in the media distort the very real consequences of this virus.
Only when the nation approaches this problem in a rational fashion will we find a suitable middle ground between the lockdowns and the outright denial of the seriousness of the pandemic.
While we have lost many good Americans like Sen. Relph already, hope is on the horizon.
The recent rollout of multiple vaccines for the coronavirus should give hope to Americans who are at risk. Elderly and immune-compromised individuals now have an option that isn’t shutting themselves away from friends and family.
Hopefully, we will see strong results from these vaccines and can soon return to the normal life that we knew before COVID-19.