Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) announced on Friday that one of his top staffers has died from COVID-19.
Gary Tibbetts, a retired police officer, had been a member of the congressman’s staff since 2011.
He was first admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 on July 15th and lost his battle with the deadly virus nine days later.
Tibbetts’ death is the first known death of a congressional aide from coronavirus.
Buchanan’s office confirmed that neither he nor any other staffers had recent contact with Tibbetts at the time of his hospitalization.
“Gary was the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word,” Buchanan said in the announcement.
“He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him. I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy at helping others,” Buchanan added.