An Arizona, U.S. woman called out Governor Doug Ducey for his lackluster way of handling the Coronavirus pandemic after her father died of the disease on June 30.
In an obituary, the woman, Kristin Urquiza, said her father, Mark Urquiza, died due to the carelessness of the politicians and it could have been prevented. Mark, a former high school 400-meter dash state champion passed away following three weeks of battle with COVID-19 in a Phoenix hospital.
"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," Kristin wrote in her father's obituary.
'His Death Was Preventable'
In the U.S., people of color have been disproportionately affected by the disease and Kristin said her father's death was preventable if the Governor, Doug Ducey, hadn't rushed to reopen businesses and lifted lockdown and social distancing norms.
The situation was further made worse by Ducey when Ducey said "if you don't have an underlying condition, it's safe out there" on May 28. The call, Kirstin believes, was the death sentence for many people like Mark, who didn't have any underlying medical condition.
"The message was a death sentence. My healthy dad believed him. He fell ill two weeks later and was dead by June 30. This is why it's easy for me to speak up. He was robbed. And so many others," she said in a post on Facebook.
She further criticized Ducey's decision on forbidding local authorities to implement safety measures including mandating the wearing of masks. "My father contracted the virus during the period when you forbade local governments from implementing their own safety measures, such as mandating the wearing of masks, to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19 through Executive Order 2020-36. As a master of public affairs, I can attest that poor policy and terrible leadership was responsible for his death," she said, adding that 'Ducey had blood on his hands.'
Funeral Invitation to AZ Governor
In an open letter to the Republican Governor, Kirstin invited him to her father's funeral. "I write to invite you to the burial of my father, Mark Anthony Urquiza. He was one of the 88 Arizonans who died on June 30, 2020, from COVID-19. Despite having a huge family and many friends, he died alone with an ICU nurse holding his hand," read the letter.
While the Governor didn't attend the funeral, a spokesperson from his office, Patrick Ptak, responded to her letter. "Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Mark Anthony Urquiza. We know nothing can fully alleviate the pain associated with his loss, and every loss from this virus is tragic," he said.
Ducey had come under fire for his lackluster handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state. The Southwestern state of the U.S. has reported over 4,263 new cases as of July 14, taking the total tally to past 128K mark with 2,337 deaths. As a result, his approval rating has dropped to 35 percent. In the U.S., the total number has crossed the 3.5 million mark with close to 140,000 deaths.