Tennessee’s Second Coronavirus Death Was Brother of Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor

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Tennessee’s second confirmed COVID-19 death was the brother of Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, according to a statement Flanagan posted to Instagram Sunday night.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported the state’s second coronavirus death in a statement released Sunday afternoon. Flanagan then revealed that the patient was her brother, Ron, who was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago and had a compromised immune system.

“Almost exactly two months after we buried our dad, my brother Ron passed away on Saturday. To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan, who was elected in 2018 as the running mate of Gov. Tim Walz, said her brother was a “tough-as-nails Marine” but a “big teddy bear on the inside.”

“He never left my dad’s side during his final weeks and took care of everyone else in the way only he could. His politics didn’t match mine at all (and we joked about it constantly) but Ron was a very good man who had an amazing capacity to love. I miss him dearly,” she added.

Flanagan said her brother passed away Saturday after he was put in a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator.

“He fought it as hard as he could but it was simply too much for his body. This is why we must stay home. If you feel fine, that’s great. 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,” she continued.

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Almost exactly two months after we buried our dad, my brother Ron passed away on Saturday. To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband. Ron was a tough-as-nails Marine who was a big teddy bear on the inside. He never left my dad’s side during his final weeks and took care of everyone else in the way only he could. His politics didn’t match mine AT ALL (and we joked about it constantly) but Ron was a very good man who had an amazing capacity to love. I miss him dearly. Several weeks ago, Ron was diagnosed with cancer. His immune system was compromised and he contracted COVID-19. He was put in a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator. He fought it as hard as he could but it was simply too much for his body. THIS is why we must #StayHome If you feel fine, that’s great. 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. #StayHomeMN

A post shared by Peggy Flanagan (@peggyflanagan) on

Health officials in Nashville reported Tennessee’s first coronavirus death Friday evening. The individual was a 73-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died due to complications from the coronavirus, according to the Metro Public Health Department.

Tennessee had 615 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday afternoon, the Tennessee Department of Health said.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
photo “Ron Flanagan” by Peggy Flanagan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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