The daughter of one of President Trump’s supporters who died of coronavirus slammed Trump’s lack of leadership and “irresponsible actions” during the pandemic as the reason for her father’s death during a scathing speech at Monday night’s virtual Democratic National Convention (DNC).
“His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump,” Kristin Urquiza said.
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Her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, tested positive for the virus after venturing out to a karaoke bar with friends in June. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, an ally to the president, lifted initial stay-at-home orders at the end of May in an effort to reopen the state’s economy, despite warnings from national health experts and scientists that the virus was not yet under control.
Arizona is one of a handful of states that had to reimpose restrictions at the end of June amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases after initially reopening.
The 65-year-old told his daughter before he died he “felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump,” she said.
“He had faith in Donald Trump. He voted for him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said coronavirus was under control and going to disappear. That it was ok to end social distancing rules before it was safe,” she said in a less than 3-minute speech filled with anger and emotion.
Mark spent days on a ventilator and died less than three weeks after contracting the virus.
“He died alone, in the ICU, with a nurse holding his hand,” Urquiza said.
Shortly after her father’s death, Urquiza wrote an obituary that slammed “the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through a clear lack of leadership, refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize risk.”
She told The Arizona Republic that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wrote a letter to her offering his condolences on July 21.
“The day will come when the memory of your dad will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. My prayer for you and your family is that day comes sooner rather than later,” Biden wrote.
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“Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse,” Urquiza said at the DNC event Monday.
“When I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I’ll do it for my dad,” she added.