During an emotional address on the first night of Democratic National Convention, Kristin Urquiza, whose father died of COVID-19, directly blamed President Trump for her family’s loss.
“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life,” said Urquiza. “The coronavirus has made it clear that there are two Americas: The America that Donald Trump lives in and the America that my father died in.”
Mark Anthony Urquiza passed away on June 30 in Arizona, after weeks of battling with the virus. Kristin Urquiza wrote a scathing obituary for her father, in which she blamed politicians for an inadequate response, later blaming Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona for allowing businesses to reopen too soon.
“Mark, like so many others, should not have died from COVID-19,” wrote Urquiza. “His death is due to the carelessness of 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.”
Urquiza invited Ducey to attend the funeral, but he declined. Former Vice President Joe Biden sent Urquiza a letter of condolence that led to her speaking spot in the opening night of his nominating convention.
“The family bonds that Mark spent his life strengthening are meant for times like these,” Biden wrote in the July 21 letter. “They’re meant for you to lean on, to share some of those burdens that are terribly difficult to bear alone. And they’re meant to continue to grow in your love and care for one another, no matter the adversity.”
At Monday night’s virtual event, Democrats began a theme that is likely to continue over the course of the four-day convention: Hammering Trump on the White House’s coronavirus response as they attempt to contrast him against his opponent in the November general election. Approximately 170,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, more than in any other nation.
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