“ “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump.” ”
Those were the words of Kristin Urquiza, speaking Monday night as part of the virtual Democratic National Convention.
Urquiza’s 65-year-old father, Mark, died from COVID-19 in June, and her obituary for him went viral after she blamed President Donald Trump, Arizona Gov. Rob Ducey and other politicians for his death, and the deaths of tens of thousands of others. “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,” she wrote in the obit.
On Monday, Urquiza was a guest speaker for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, on the first night of the virtual convention.
In a heartfelt speech delivered from her home, Urquiza said she still blames Trump for her father’s death.
“Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse,” she said, describing how she felt Trump “betrayed” her father.
“He had faith in Donald Trump, he voted him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said coronavirus was under control and would disappear, and that it was OK to end social-distancing rules before it was safe,” she said. “In late May, after the stay-at-home order was lifted in Arizona, my dad went to a karaoke bar with his friends. A few weeks later, he was put on a ventilator. And after five agonizing days, he died alone, in the ICU, with a nurse holding his hand.”
“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old,” she said. “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.”
As of Monday, more than 170,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Other speakers Monday night included a number of prominent Republicans — including John Kasich and Meg Whitman — who endorsed Biden, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders and former first lady Michelle Obama.