Maxine Waters: Sister Who Died Of Coronavirus Was Not Tested Before Surgery

It was "a matter of a couple of weeks and she was gone,” the California congresswoman told MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Friday revealed how her older sister died from COVID-19 a couple of weeks after undergoing surgery on her hip in hospital, where she was not tested for the deadly coronavirus until after the operation.

“From that point she went down,” Waters told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes of her 86-year-old sibling Velma Moody, who was living in a St. Louis nursing home where The Washington Post reported she contracted the virus. “She was a matter of a couple of weeks and she was gone,” said Waters. “We buried her yesterday.”

The California congresswoman hailed Moody, the eldest of her 12 siblings, as “the best dancer in the neighborhood,” “a leader in the community” and “the one that was in charge of our home when our mother had to be in the hospital or off on business.”

(Check out Hayes’ interview with Waters above.)

Waters first revealed Moody was seriously ill and dying of the coronavirus while speaking in support of a relief bill on the House floor in late April.

“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. Watch the video here:

Waters confirmed her sister’s death in an interview with The Grio last week.

It was “one of the most painful things that I’ve ever had to experience in my life,” she said. “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.”

Waters has since used other interviews to highlight the heightened risk of elderly people contracting the virus in nursing homes. She’s also warned of the disproportionate way the virus appears to affect Black people and called on young people to maintain social distancing measures in a bid to slow its spread.

On Thursday, she called out President Donald Trump’s fumbled handling of the pandemic, suggesting on Twitter that he only wanted to reopen the country (against the advice of health experts) so “he can go back to having his white power pep rallies!” “The death & economic devastation we are facing is b/c Trump failed to act early & called #COVID19 a HOAX!” she added:

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