Former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) revealed on Thursday that her oldest brother, Don Reed Herring, has died from the coronavirus. The 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three weeks ago, was 86 years old.
My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening. He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader. https://t.co/b8m0xKzAmM— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 23, 2020
What made him extra special was his smile—quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him. pic.twitter.com/SFMOaBVCN3— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 23, 2020
Because of coronavirus precautions, Herring's family, including his wife Judith Anne Hart and sons John and Jeffrey, were not permitted to visit him during his illness.
“I’m grateful to the nurses and other front-line staff who took care of my brother, but it is hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say 'I love you' one more time," Warren said in a statement to the Boston Globe. "And now there’s no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I will miss my brother.”
Herring had been diagnosed with cancer years ago and undergone treatment, and was hospitalized for pneumonia in February, the Globe notes.
In addition to his wife and kids, Warren's late brother Don is survived by their two other brothers, John and David Herring.
There are now over 840,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S., with over 48,000 deaths.