MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic now has a personal connection to her.

On Sunday evening in an Instagram post, Flanagan said her older brother, Ron, died in Tennessee on Saturday from COVID-19. She says he was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago, had a compromised immune system and contracted COVID-19.

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“To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband,” she said.

She says Ron was placed in a medically-induced coma and was placed on a ventilator.

“He fought it as hard as he could but it was simply too much for his body,” she said.

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Almost exactly two months after we buried our dad, my brother Ron Golden passed away on Saturday. To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband. Ron was a tough-as-nails Marine who was a big teddy bear on the inside. He never left my dad’s side during his final weeks and took care of everyone else in the way only he could. His politics didn’t match mine AT ALL (and we joked about it constantly) but Ron was a very good man who had an amazing capacity to love. I miss him dearly. Several weeks ago, Ron was diagnosed with cancer. His immune system was compromised and he contracted COVID-19. He was put in a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator. He fought it as hard as he could but it was simply too much for his body. THIS is why we must #StayHome If you feel fine, that’s great. But please consider the possibility that you’re carrying the virus and don’t know it, and then you walk past the next Ron, my big brother, in public. COVID-19 now has a personal connection to me. Please do all you can to prevent one for you. #StayHomeMN

A post shared by Peggy Flanagan (@peggyflanagan) on

Flanagan says her brother’s death reinforces that people should stay home during the pandemic.

“If you feel fine, that’s great. But please consider the possibility that you’re carrying the virus and don’t know it, and then you walk past the next Ron, my big brother, in public,” she said. “COVID-19 now has a personal connection to me. Please do all you can to prevent one for you.”

Flanagan’s father, White Earth Nation activist Marvin Manypenny, died two months ago.

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