“It is with tremendous pain and sadness that my father Nur Omar Mohamed passed away today due to complications from the coronavirus,” Rep. Ilhan Omar announced Monday evening. “No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew and loved him.”
Omar and her father fled Somalia’s civil war in 1991 to a Kenyan refugee camp before eventually settling in Minneapolis. In one of Omar’s interviews with the MSR, she credited her father’s life lessons with keeping her positive. “My dad—one of my earliest memories was talking to him about having stomach pain and him saying, ‘Your stomach will feel fine, you don’t need to dwell on it.
“There are children your age in the hospital, their parents don’t know if they’ll survive or not. You have to count your blessings and focus on getting well.’”
With the news of her father’s death, Rep. Omar joins a growing list of high-profile Minnesotans who have been personally impacted by the virus, from Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan who lost her brother Ron Golden in March to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose mother Clida Martinez Ellison died of the virus in April. Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns also lost his mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns to COVID-19 in April.
To date, there has been a total of 1,313 COVID-19 related deaths in Minnesota. Of the 30,882 confirmed cases in the state, 27,006 are believed to have recovered.