NASHVILLE — Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan says her older brother, Ron, died Saturday in Tennessee from COVID-19 complications, Minneapolis television station WCCO reported Monday morning.
She identified him as one of the two coronavirus victims who have died in Tennessee.
Flanagan wrote Sunday night in an Instagram post that her brother was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago and had a compromised immune system when he contracted the infection. It was not immediately clear where in Tennessee he was residing.
"To many, he'll be a statistic: Tennessee's second COVID-related death," the lieutenant governor wrote. "But to me, I'll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband."
She said her brother had been placed in a medically-induced coma and was placed on a ventilator."
"He fought it as hard as he could but it was simply too much for his body," she said. "THIS is why we must #StayHome."
WSMV-TV reported Sunday that two patients who had contracted COVID-19 in Metro Nashville had died in the viral epidemic.
One death was a 73-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced a second death was a patient at its adult hospital and the patient also had underlying health conditions, WSMV reported. The patient was also a resident of a county adjacent to Davidson, but VUMC did not specify which one.
In her Instagram post, Lt. Gov. Flanagan issued a cautionary plea to readers.
"If you feel fine, that's great," she wrote. "But please consider the possibility that you're carrying the virus and don't know it, and then you walk past the next Ron, my big brother, in public. COVID-19 now has a personal connection to me. Please do all you can to prevent one for you."