More than 40,000 Texans have died from COVID-19

As the U.S. exceeds 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, we know more than 40,000 of those are Texans.

‘Grim and horrific milestone’: Biden marks more than 500K American lives lost to COVID-19

Aside from being overwhelming over 50 years old or older, many of them fall into two demographic categories: male and Hispanic.

"Honestly, every day gets harder. The void, the emptiness gets larger every day," said Andrea Araujo. Her father is Dr. Carlos Enersto Aruajo Preza. He was the ICU director at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball. 

He died in December. He was 51 years old.

On Monday, Andrea had her first birthday since her father's passing.

"It was kind of hard to go through my first birthday without him," she said fighting back tears.

Houston-area ICU doctor who treated COVID-19 patients dies from virus

Dr. Carlos Araujo Preza, 51, of The Woodlands lost his life to COVID-19 after treating ICU COVID-19 patients.

When she heard the U.S. surpassed half a million deaths, she immediately thought of families like her own.

"It's not just half a million people who lost their lives, it's all the families and friends affected by it," Andrea added.

As of Feb. 19, 40,986 Texans have died from COVID-19.  Of those, 58% are male and 46.5% are Hispanic. 

Out of nearly 2,000 deaths in Houston, more than half are Hispanic and more than 60 percent are men.

Health experts attribute the disparity, in part, because many are frontline workers like Dr. Araujo-Preza.

And, like Joel Cirilo, Jr., who worked for Houston Public Works, he was a father and a musician. He died in November. He was 59 years old.

The same week, Houston Police Officer Ernest Leal, Jr. died.

He served the department for nearly four decades but was known for serving the community around the clock as a volunteer with multiple organizations.

Houston police officer passes away from COVID-19

A Houston police officer has died after battling COVID-19 for some time, according to the Houston Police Department.

For Andrea, some of her heartbreak comes from knowing her father was so close to getting a vaccine.

"My dad since he was a physician, he died two weeks, if that, before he would have gotten administered the vaccine," she concluded.

Texas reports everyone who has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 15% are Hispanic. Although 33% are reported as unknown race or ethnicity.

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