Missouri state representative’s husband dies after battle with COVID

Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A member of the Missouri state House of Representatives announced on Twitter Thursday morning that her husband passed away.

Dozens of state and federal lawmakers gathered at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia for the annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast. Nearly a thousand people attended the event. Gov. Mike Parson held a moment of silence in honor of Rep. Sara Walsh’s (R-Ashland) husband who died early Thursday morning of COVID.

Rep. Sara Walsh is the Republican Majority Caucus Chair and is from District 50 which represents Cole, Cooper, Moniteau, and Boone counties. Her husband, Steve Walsh, contracted COVID and was placed on a ventilator.

The representative said the following on Twitter Thursday morning.

It saddens my heart to share that this morning my best friend and beloved husband Steve Walsh was welcomed to Heaven’s glory into the arms of Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior. Arrangements pending. Thank you to everyone who has lifted us up in prayer.

@SaraForMissouri / Twitter

Walsh said neither she nor her husband received the COVID vaccine. She told various media outlets that she opted against taking the vaccine because it has not received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has issued emergency use approval for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Walsh announced on Twitter that her husband was very ill on August 3.

The ham breakfast is normally when politicians from across the state meet with supporters and colleagues. Shortly after taking the stage, the governor asked the hundreds in attendance to join in a moment of silence. 

“On a sad note, but I think it’s important to recognize,” Parson said. “A young lady, who has come to the state fair, her and her husband, for many, many years, a lot of you in this room will know, Rep. Sara Walsh, but Steve Walsh passed away this morning, early morning hours of COVID. I would ask all of you to put your thoughts and prayers with Sara and her family and also if you would join me in a moment of silence for Sara and her family.”

Walsh said neither she nor her husband received the COVID vaccine. She told various media outlets that she opted against taking the vaccine because it has not received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has issued emergency use approval for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Parson said Thursday, it’s each person’s choice. 

“Look, everybody is in that position where you have to make decisions for what you think is best for you and your family,” Parson said. “We’ve respected that process throughout the entire time and we’re going to continue to do that.”

The governor went on to say the state of Missouri allows residents to make their own decision when it comes to masks and vaccines. 

“To a time when I didn’t shut businesses down in this state, I didn’t mandate whether you wear a mask or not wear a mask,” Parson said. “I’m not going to mandate whether you take a vaccine or note take a vaccine. All of those things, I’m not going to do.”

He asked those attending to take personal responsibility.

Rep. Sara Walsh is now seeking the 4th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Vicky Hartzler. Her husband was Hartzler’s press secretary.

Hartzler issued a statement about Steve Walsh’s passing.

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