Two days into the DNC, Kristin Urquiza’s speech remains the most compelling call to action
Kristin Urquiza’s father died of COVID-19. She has now turned her grief into a movement.
“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’s words rattled day one of the Democratic National Convention, bringing to the forefront the lives lost to COVID-19. The United States has surpassed 172,000 deaths related to COVID-19, and Urquiza’s father is among the toll.
Her speech was a powerful condemnation of President Trump’s leadership throughout the coronavirus pandemic, reminding us all that as we celebrate the nomination of the Democratic candidate for President, the event is being held amid the worst pandemic the U.S. has seen in 100 years..
As the nation awaits the third and final night of the DNC, Urquiza’s speech is still the most powerful.While there were compelling calls to action rooted in progressive activism, one thing every American will be able to relate to — whether they be moderate or further to the left — is the mark COVID-19 has left.
Urquiza recently graduated with a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and was planning a career in international environmental policy when everything changed with the passing of her father in June.
In her speech, Urquiza mentioned her father was a Republican for most of his life and he trusted his president. When he was dying, Urquiza said her father felt betrayed by Trump — he had decided to attend a gathering at a bar after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey prematurely re-opened the state.
"My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life."
Kristin Urquiza, whose father died from Covid last month in Arizona, made an impassioned speech at the #DemConvention. https://t.co/8dIvPebW4D pic.twitter.com/E6hPhPRZkA
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 18, 2020
Now, Urquiza has turned her grief into advocacy on the pandemic, and she was invited to speak at this year’s DNC.
She has formed Marked by Covid, a platform serving to elevate the truth about COVID-19 in hopes of saving others.
But it’s not easy, Urquiza says.
“Crying in between interviews. It is so hard to be in this position but I must keep fighting for all of us, we deserve better,” Urquiza wrote on Twitter. “Our leaders have failed us but we can lead one another.”
Crying in between interviews. It is so hard to be in this position but I must keep fighting for all of us, we deserve better. Our leaders have failed us but we can lead one another. If you have the means please support this cause. https://t.co/tGSLMS1GED pic.twitter.com/D21GuIYN6M
— Marked By Covid (@MarkedByCovid) August 18, 2020
It was a powerful speech, delivered not for sympathy, but for action. When she casts her vote in November, Urquiza says she will do it for her father.