Warren says death of brother from COVID-19 'feels like something that didn't have to happen'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenLobbying world Sanders open to supporting primary challengers against Manchin and Sinema Warren dodges on whether Sinema, Manchin should be challenged in primaries MORE (D-Mass.) said in an interview with The Atlantic published Sunday that her oldest brother's death from the coronavirus "feels like something that didn't have to happen."

Warren told The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere that her brother Donald Reed Herring had recently recovered from a bout of pneumonia when he contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, and was still in the hospital when he tested positive.

"Pneumonia really takes it out of you. And, you know, he’s old. And so he went to the rehab and was ready to go home. He was packed up and ready to go home when somebody tested positive, and they wouldn’t let him leave," Warren told Dovere.


"Then he got sick, and then he died, by himself. That’s the hard part — really hard part," she continued, adding: "It just feels like something that didn’t have to happen."

Warren also conveyed to Dovere the helplessness she and others have felt due to their inability to visit loved ones afflicted with the coronavirus, which has forced hospitals around the country to develop special procedures for preventing infections including limiting or preventing guest visits.

"It’s always hard to lose someone you love. But to lose someone when you have to wonder: What were their last days like? Were they afraid? Were they cold? Were they lonely? That is a kind of grief that is new to all of us. And my brothers won’t get over this. They just won’t. None of us will," Warren said.

Herring, an Air Force veteran, died in late April from the disease after spending weeks in the hospital following his initial diagnosis.

“And now there’s no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close,” Warren said at the time in an interview with The Boston Globe. “I will miss my brother.”