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“His Only Preexisting Condition Was Trusting Trump”: Daughter Speaks at DNC After Dad Dies of COVID

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One of the most memorable speeches of the opening night of the virtual Democratic National Convention was delivered by Kristin Urquiza, who said her father, a supporter of Donald Trump, died after believing the president’s assurances that the coronavirus was under control. “My dad, Mark Anthony Urquiza, should be here today, but he isn’t,” she said. “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump — and for that, he paid with his life.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are breaking with convention. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we continue to air highlights from the opening night of the virtual Democratic National Convention. One of the most moving speeches was delivered by a young Mexican American woman whose father died of COVID-19 in June in Arizona.

KRISTIN URQUIZA: I’m Kristin Urquiza. I’m one of the many who has lost a loved one to COVID. My dad, Mark Anthony Urquiza, should be here today, but he isn’t. 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 OK to end social distancing rules before it was safe, and that if you had no underlying health conditions, you’d probably be fine. So, 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. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump — and for that, he paid with his life.

I am not alone. Once I told my story, a lot of people reached out to me to share theirs. They asked me to help them keep their communities safe, especially communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected. They asked me, a normal person, to help, because Donald Trump won’t.

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. Enough is enough. Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse. We need a leader who has a national, coordinated, data-driven response to stop this pandemic from claiming more lives and to safely reopen the country. We need a leader who will step in on day one and do his job, to care.

One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump. And so, when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my dad.

AMY GOODMAN: Kristin Urquiza, speaking at the Democratic National Convention on its kickoff night.

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