John McCain, a senior member of the United States Senate and former presidential candidate, has died.
Mr McCain passed on Saturday night after years of battling with brain cancer, his family announced Saturday. He was 81.
Mr McCain’s family said the late Vietnam War veteran, who was hailed as a hero for spending months in enemy prison after being captured, recently demanded that his doctors should stop administering medication because his cancer had reached irrecoverable stage.
Mr McCain, a senator from Arizona, announced he had gioblastoma condition in July 2017, leading many to fear that he would not be around for much longer.
News of Mr McCain’s passing has elicited an outpouring of tribute and sympathy from Americans across the political aisle.
People testify to the respect he earned in the Senate by working across party lines, and is often described as a maverick.
Mr McCain has been absent from the Senate for the most part of 2018, and some media reports said he last voted on December 7, 2017.
He had been confined to a wheelchair for several months. But his condition did not stop him from taking the political centre stage, especially by railing against what he saw as the excesses of President Donald Trump.
Last month, he slammed Mr Trump’s outing with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit as “disgraceful” and the summit itself as a “tragic mistake.”
Before then, Mr McCain criticised the president’s trade policies, and reiterated that “Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”
He also wrote an opinion in the Washington Post warning Mr Trump to stop his relentless attacks against the media, saying journalists are not the enemy of the people as the president has continued to repeat.
Mr Trump also attacked the senator, saying he became a notable Vietnam War veteran because he was captured. The president said he liked those who were not captured better.
Mr McCain was the presidential candidate of the Republican Party in 2008. He, however, lost to Barrack Obama, in a defeat that many attributed to the growing unpopularity of then-incumbent George Bush and the collapse of the capital markets.
Mr Trump reacted quickly to the news on Saturday night (U.S. time), expressing his deepest sympathies to his loved ones.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain,” Mr Trump said on Twitter. “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
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