Speaking at the opening night of the Democratic National Committee’s virtual 2020 convention, Kristin Urquiza said her “healthy 65-year-old” father Mark Anthony Urquiza was hospitalised a few weeks after visiting a karaoke bar with friends after the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted in May.
“A few weeks later, he was put on a ventilator,” she said. “After five agonising days, he died alone in the ICU with a nurse holding his hand.”
Her father had voted for the president, “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.”
The president has faced months of scrutiny for a delayed and apparently callous response to a pandemic that has led to more than 170,000 American deaths, what the party has called his “deadly negligence”.
“One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump,” she said. “So when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my dad.”
In a segment addressing the public health crisis, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — sitting behind a desk on a set to mirror his coronavirus briefings — assailed the administration’s response, accusing the president of “ignoring” the crisis and then “trying to politicise it”.
“Americans learned a critical lesson, how vulnerable we are when we are divided, and how many lives can be lost when our government is incompetent,” he said. “Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse.”
US Women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe also appeared in a segment speaking with a doctor, paramedic and nurses, who called for more personal protective equipment amid national shortages.
“The coronavirus has made it clear that there are two Americas: the Americas that my father died in,” Ms Urquiza said. “Enough is enough. Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions have made it so much worse.”