Elijah Cummings Dies, What Happens Now
Elijah Cummings Dies, What Happens Now
The news broke this morning that Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland had died at age 68.
Cummings’s health was known to not be the best, but the news was definitely unexpected to the media, if not to his family.
The Democrat, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, died at Gilchrist Hospice Care at approximately 2:45 A.M., a spokeswoman said.”
Cummings, who had been absent from Capitol Hill in recent weeks while under medical attention, had health issues in recent years. In 2017, he underwent an aortic valve replacement. The procedure, which aides described as minimally invasive in Cummings’ case, is used to correct narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. The surgery led to an infection that kept him in the hospital longer than expected. He was later hospitalized for a knee infection, but he said this summer that his health was fine.”
Cummings had not participated in a roll call vote since Sept. 11. His office said recently that he had undergone a medical procedure but the seriousness of his condition had not been known.”
Passing away while in hospice care means that Elijah Cummings and his family must have known that the end was near. Which makes me hope that his wife’s comment about working “until his last breath” is just hyperbole, not truth. No one should be working on their deathbed in a hospice facility – that’s when you should be trying to say goodbye to your loved ones, not attempting to get one more thing in for work. If true, that is profoundly sad, and not something to be proud of.
The question is, did Democrat leadership on Capitol Hill know that Cummings’s death was that close – and did they make any preparations for it? Elijah Cummings was heavily involved in the current Democrat impeachment push, since he was the chair of the House Oversight Committee. A special election is required to be held to elect his replacement (and in his creatively drawn Congressional district, there’s a near certainty that his replacement will be a Democrat), and in the meantime, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York will become acting chair, as the next most senior Democrat on the committee. Temporarily, this puts the entire “inquiry” on hold, as Congress stops to pay tribute to their colleague – from both sides of the aisle.
However, when President Trump offers his condolences…
My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
… look out.
Trump on 7/27: "Cumming[s] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."
On 7/28: "If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping…people…perhaps progress could be made."
Today: "My warmest condolences." His work will be very hard to replace.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 17, 2019
We all know that Trump did not have a friendly relationship with Elijah Cummings. But for crying out loud, is the president not allowed to simply offer condolences without people complaining and cursing at him? (Just look at the replies to Trump’s tweet for a general idea of how off the handle people can get on Twitter, which is a dumpster fire on its best days.) Apparently not. In this sharply divided social media-based society, we can’t even stop to acknowledge that people are grieving without drawing out an unnecessary attack. What a shame.
We here at Victory Girls offer our sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Elijah Cummings. Political disagreements or fights should never keep us from acknowledging that we are all human beings, and that genuine grief deserves a compassionate response.
Featured image: Representative Elijah Cummings, official Congressional portrait, public domain