A speaker at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night said her father, who died of COVID-19, died because of his faith in President Donald Trump.
Kristin Urquiza’s father was a Trump supporter in Arizona. According to Urquiza, her father was a healthy man who caught COVID-19 after going out to a karaoke bar in Arizona, once the state’s lockdown was lifted in May, and died a few weeks later.
“My dad, Mark Anthony Urquiza, should be here today but he isn’t,” Urquiza said in the video message. “He had faith in Donald Trump. He voted for him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said that coronavirus was under control and going to disappear. That it was okay to end social distancing rules before it was safe, and that if you had no underlying health conditions, you’d probably be fine. … My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.”
Urquiza said her father came to regret his trust in the president before he died.
“One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump,” Urquiza said. “So when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my dad.”
Kristin Urquiza speech at the Democratic Convention | Joe Biden For President 2020
Urquiza launched an organization called Marked By COVID which seeks to raise awareness about COVID-19 and to pressure politicians into taking certain actions in response to the virus.
“Mark, like so many others, should not have died from COVID-19,” the website reads. “His death is due to the carelessness of politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through 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.”
Arizona issued a COVID-19 stay-at-home order on March 30. That order was lifted on May 15 with the governor encouraging people to continue maintaining social distance whenever possible. After an increase in new cases, the state’s reopening plan was paused in late June.
Arizona has reported 4,506 COVID-19-related deaths and 194,005 total cases. Monday, there were 468 new cases reported, but no new deaths in the state.