Member of DC mayor's staff dies from coronavirus

A member of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserPedestrian bridge collapses in Northeast DC, injuring 6 Senate dives into DC statehood debate in second hearing GOP senator on DC statehood: 'No one is compelled to actually' live there MORE’s staff died of coronavirus on Friday morning, the mayor announced.

“A member of my team who worked in the office of legal counsel recently tested positive for COVID-19 and he passed away this morning," Bowser said at a news conference.

"My prayers right now are with his family, his entire team and of course we will be supporting them during this very difficult time.”


Bowser later identified the victim as George Valentine, deputy director of the mayor's office of legal counsel.

"It's devastating for everybody of course and we are very sorry. These are folks who are coming to work because they are performing essential tasks," Bowser said.

The nation’s capital now has 267 confirmed cases of the virus and at least three deaths. 

This week the Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that included $1.25 billion for each state while giving D.C. $500 million.

Bowser said it was “infuriating” that the nation’s capital was treated like a "territory" instead of a state, despite it having a population and tax base larger than dozens of U.S. states. 

"We're not a territory. We pay more taxes — unlike the territories — than 22 states. We have a larger population than several states and we are treated as a state by thousands of federal laws and programs,” she said at a Thursday press conference. "It's unconscionable to give DC the least amount of funding of any state, especially given the unique challenges we take on as the seat of the federal government."