(CNN) — Rep. Maxine Waters’ sister recently died from coronavirus, the California Democrat said Wednesday.
“While I’m sitting here, my sister’s viewing is going on today in St. Louis,” Waters said during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee’s new select coronavirus committee. “Many families have been touched, and so I’m hopeful that we can all get together, Democrats and Republicans, and deal with this pandemic.”
Waters initially confirmed the death of her sister, Velma Moody, 86, last week in an interview with TheGrio saying, “It is one of the most painful things that I’ve ever had to experience in my life.”
“She had suffered. And so we are going through a very difficult time. It was not easy, but in many ways, I’m so glad she’s out of pain.”
In TheGrio interview, Waters also highlighted the risks of the elderly contracting coronavirus in nursing homes, since her sister was living in an assisted care facility. “The nursing home is the only place we have for many of our seniors, many of whom have outlived their families.”
“That’s where they go. And now these nursing homes are like a petri dish for the continued development of this virus that is killing us,” she told the outlet.
Waters had signaled her sister was in dire condition in April, when she spoke on the House floor ahead of a vote on Covid-19 response package worth more than $480 billion. “I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus,” she said.
Waters, the chair of the Financial Services Committee, has been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump, including his handling of the coronavirus response. In late April, she slammed the President on Twitter, saying, “Trump, when are you going to say a word of sympathy & condolences to the families & friends of the 50k coronavirus victims who’ve died in our country & even the others who’ve died around the world? Have you no empathy? Have you no compassion or decency?”