“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,” Bowser said in the 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.”
The mayor said Mercia Bowser — her only sister and eldest sibling — “was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend” who “worked tirelessly for children, the elderly, and those with behavioral disorders until her retirement and beyond.”
Bowser said her family was grateful to the medical staff at Washington Hospital Center who treated her sister for pneumonia related to her bout with coronavirus until her death Wednesday morning.
Mercia Bowser is among the 1,001 Covid-19 deaths the nation’s capital had recorded as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The district currently has just shy of 40,000 coronavirus cases.
Her death also comes the same week that the US hit 500,000 Covid-19 deaths,
a sobering landmark in a pandemic that continues to ravage the country as officials race to vaccinate Americans to slow the spread of the virus.
The mayor has already mourned the death of at least one other person close to her
who contracted the virus, as she announced last March that George Valentine, who was serving as the deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, passed away after testing positive.
“It’s devastating for everybody, of course. We’re very sorry,” she said at the time.
Bowser has helped steer the city through the pandemic
since its onset, declaring a state of emergency last March and later ordering the closure of some businesses to mitigate the spread of the virus. She also moved late last year to impose new dining restrictions in the city as cases rose around the holiday season.