Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser’s sister, Mercia Bowser, died Wednesday at the age of 64 from complications related to COVID-19.
“My family and I are mourning the loss of my sister, Mercia Bowser, who passed away this morning due to complications related to COVID-19,” the Democratic mayor said in a statement. “Mercia was loved immensely and will be missed greatly, as she joins the legion of angels who have gone home too soon due to the pandemic.”
Bowser asked for people to “continue to keep those who have been lost or impacted by the pandemic and those who are working so hard to protect us from it in your thoughts and prayers.” She also asked that she and her family be given the space and time needed in order to mourn the loss of her sister.
The statement went on to say:
“Mercia was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She worked tirelessly for children, the elderly, and those with behavioral disorders until her retirement and beyond. She counted many friends and fond memories of her service to Catholic Charities and the DC Office on Aging. She is survived by her parents Joan and Joseph Bowser, brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends ranging from St. John’s Elementary School, to Academy of Our Lady High School, to Fisk University, and Israel Metropolitan CME Church.
“We are grateful to the doctors and nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, who heroically treated her for COVID-19 related pneumonia until her death. We thank you for your kindness and will share how our family will honor Mercia, my only sister and oldest sibling, and her beautiful spirit in the coming days.”
Earlier this week, the United States reached 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, in honor of which President Joe Biden led a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House.
As reported by Reuters, Biden gave remarks at the White House, saying, “Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone — 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined…But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived. They’re people we knew.”
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff marked a moment of silence around 6:15 p.m. outside the White House after Biden’s remarks, bowing their heads. Five hundred lit candles lined the steps of the White House to honor the people who have died as a military band played “Amazing Grace.”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the District of Columbia currently has 39,943 cases and has reached 1,001 deaths.
Mercia reportedly the second person close to Bowser to pass away after contracting COVID-19. She announced last March that George Valentine, who had been serving as the deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, died after testing positive, according to CNN.
“It’s devastating for everybody, of course. We’re very sorry,” she said at the time.
Mercia Bowser was born March 7, 1956, and passed away Feb. 24, 2021.
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