An Arizona woman attributes her father’s death from the coronavirus to the state and federal response to the pandemic.
In an obituary for Mark Anthony Urquiza, who died on June 30 after suffering COVID-19 for more than three weeks, his daughter, Kristin Urquiza, wrote that her death was preventable.
“Mark, like so many others, should not have died from COVID-19. His death is due to the carelessness of politicians who continue to endanger the health of brown bodies due to a clear lack of leadership, the refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis and the inability and unwillingness to give clear direction and decisive on how to minimize risk. “Urquiza wrote in an obituary published last week in The Arizona Republic.
She said she would channel “sadness and anger” to create an awareness campaign so that “fewer families are forced to endure this.”
“We honor Mark’s life by continuing this fight for others, even in these darkest moments,” Urquiza wrote.
In an interview with The New York Times, he called the Trump administration and the office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) directly about their responses to the pandemic.
“I don’t feel comfortable crying silently because I think my father’s death was preventable,” Urquiza, 39, told the Times. “And if the Ducey administration, the Trump administration, had been listening to experts, doctors, epidemiologists, Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, we would be in a completely different situation. I needed to talk. “
Patrick Ptak, a spokesman for Ducey, told The Hill in a statement: “Our hearts go out to Mark Anthony Urquiza’s family and loved ones. We know that nothing can completely alleviate the pain associated with his loss, and every loss of this virus is tragic. “
But Urquiza told the Times that he doesn’t need the governor’s heart.
“I want you to act,” he said.
To raise awareness, Urquiza has launched a Facebook page called “Marked by COVID”, in honor of his father and with the aim of promoting “a culture of change around the prevention of COVID to save lives.”
He also held a vigil and organized an offering, an altar with images of his father and other people lost to the virus, outside the Arizona State Capitol.
The number of coronavirus cases is increasing in Arizona, as well as in many other states, including Texas and Florida. Arizona reported 1,357 new cases and eight new deaths on Monday, bringing the state to 123,824 cases and 2,245 deaths.
—Updated at 3:42 pm