OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Antonio Vargas, the father of Nebraska State Senator Tony Vargas, passed away from COVID-19 on Wednesday morning after fighting the disease for weeks.
Both Senator Vargas' mother and father had been diagnosed with coronavirus. His mother was able to quarantine at home and has since recovered.
Antonio had more severe symptoms and became a patient at an intensive care unit at a local hospital. He was in critical condition and on a ventilator for 31 days until he passed away.
“My father has always been a source of quiet strength for our family. He has always been a fighter and, for the last month, fought for his life, to overcome this disease. Words cannot describe what this loss means for me, my mother and brothers, and all of our family and friends here in the U.S. and in Peru,” said Senator Vargas.
His mother, 71-year-old Lidia, and 72-year-old Antonio, immigrated to the United States from Peru in the 1970s, according to the Nebraska Legislature website.
Both lived in Long Island, New York where Senator Vargas grew up.
Senator Vargas wants to remind the public that coronavirus cases in Nebraska are continuing to rise and we must continue to be cautious, especially for those who are most vulnerable.
“This is deeply personal for me. I don’t want another family to go through what we are experiencing right now. Please, if you can, continue to stay home, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing and wear a mask in public. If you have symptoms, call a healthcare provider and get tested right away. By doing this, we have the opportunity to prevent this tragedy for others and stop this virus from spreading even further," Senator Vargas said. “And to all our elected, community, public health, and medical leaders across the state, please take every precaution and step to protect the health and well-being of Nebraska’s working families, especially the workers on our front lines, including healthcare professionals and food processing and meatpacking plant workers.”