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‘He paid with his life.’ Woman who lost father to COVID slams Trump

Kristin Urquiza tells the story of her father who died of COVID-19
Kristin Urquiza: "His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump and for that he paid with his life."

A San Francisco woman who lost her father to the coronavirus gave a searing speech on the first night of the Democratic convention Monday, placing the blame for her father’s death squarely on President Trump.

“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,” Kristin Urquiza said in a video message played during the virtual convention.

Urquiza said her father, who lived in Arizona, followed the advice of political leaders, including Trump, when he went to a karaoke bar with friends after lockdowns lifted in the state.

“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,” Urquiza said.

But, Urquiza said, her father contracted the virus after his night out.

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“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,” she said.

In late June, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered bars closed again amid a resurgence of the virus in the state.

Urquiza has also memorialized her father with an obituary in which she blamed “the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies” for his death.

On Monday, she directly criticized Trump over his response to the virus, describing him as out of touch with the realities on the ground.

“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,” she said.

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Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.