PHOENIX — Days before the 2020 election, a group of people gathered on the Day of the Dead to mourn the lives of loved ones lost to COVID-19 earlier this year. They lit candles on empty chairs, each chair representing 100 lives lost.
Kristin Urquiza was there to mourn her father, Mark Urquiza. When Arizona’s Republican governor reopened the state in mid-May, Mark, a Trump supporter, went out to a karaoke bar. The healthy 65-year-old with no preexisting conditions came down with COVID symptoms, and died weeks later.
“We are supposed to, in times of crisis in particular, follow the advice of people in charge. And my dad trusted these folks,” said Urquiza.
Urquiza said that in their last conversation, her father told her that he felt “sideswiped” and betrayed.
Urquiza has publicly blamed President Donald Trump for her father’s death. She founded Marked by COVID, an organization that’s mobilizing people who have lost friends and family members to vote out the leaders they hold responsible.
Now, she’s focused on getting out the vote for Joe Biden in the final stretch in Arizona.