Mich. State Lawmaker Dies of COVID-19 Symptoms

    Michigan State Rep. Isaac Robinson, a Democrat, died Sunday after being hospitalized with COVID-19-like symptoms. He was 44.

    According to the Michigan Advance, Robinson had been feeling ill and was having trouble breathing. He was checked in to Detroit Receiving Hospital around 6 a.m., and while he never received a test, family members are telling the media that the lawmaker died about five hours later from a suspected COVID-19 infection.

    It could not immediately be determined if Robinson is the first state legislature to die from the virus in the U.S.

    The Michigan legislature adjourned on March 17 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Advance reported. Robinson was excused during the final 12-hour session, where lawmakers negotiated an emergency COVID-19 spending bill.

    The Maryland General Assembly adjourned on March 18, three weeks earlier than scheduled, due to the outbreak of the virus.

    Robinson, a lawyer, was elected to the state House, representing a district in Detroit, in 2018. He was also vice chairman of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in the Wolverine State.

    Sanders eulogized Robinson on Twitter late Sunday night.

    “Jane and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of State Rep. Isaac Robinson,” he wrote. “He served as a vice chair for our campaign in Michigan and believed strongly in a fairer future for all. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

    One of Robinson’s colleagues, state Rep. Tyrone Carter (D), announced on March 26 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He told the Advance on Sunday that he’s “out of the woods” and feeling better.

    Robinson succeeded his mother, state Rep. Rose Mary Robinson (D), in the legislature. She had held the seat for six years.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.