Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said Monday that her father had died from complications of the coronavirus.
“It is with tremendous sadness and pain that I share that my father, Nur Omar Mohamed, passed away today due to complications from COVID-19,” Omar said in a statement obtained by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew him.”
“My family and I ask for your respect and privacy during this time,” she said.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 116,000 people in the United States. More than 2.1 million people have tested positive for the virus, which is still ravaging parts of the country as infections spike in nearly two dozen states.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in April that her older brother, Don Reed Herring, died of the coronavirus, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) detailed her husband’s struggles after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He ultimately recovered.
President Donald Trump has continued to downplay the rising number of infections in some places as he urges states to reopen businesses to revive their economies, despite dire warnings from the nation’s leading health officials that doing so too soon could lead to a second wave of cases. The president suggested Monday that positive diagnoses were on the rise only because of increased testing in the U.S.
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” he said during an event.
Reopening efforts have already been stymied in some states. The governors of Utah and Oregon said last week they would delay reopening efforts after cases of the coronavirus spiked. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) threatened to reverse reopenings in some regions after the state received more than 25,000 complaints about businesses violating social distancing guidelines.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also said recently that the pandemic was far from over, saying the health community was still “at the beginning of really understanding” the virus.
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