Across the country, countless families will have to spend the holidays without someone they love. Someone who was taken away too soon by the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, as the pandemic continues to spread and even infect himself, President Donald Trump has downplayed the seriousness of the virus once again. Rather than ignore the president, Amanda Kloots, Nick Cordero's widow, slammed Trump's latest COVID-19 comments as "disgraceful" and "hurtful."
Just four days after announcing that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, as well as several other senior White House staff members, President Trump left Walter Reed Hospital, where he had been treated in a government-funded facility with care and medication not available to most people in the country.
Before he was discharged on Monday evening, Trump penned a concerning message to Americans on Twitter. "Don’t be afraid of Covid," he tweeted. "Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
Many took umbrage with the president's insensitive tweet, especially considering more than 210,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. Kloots, who lost her husband to COVID-19 on July 5, was one such person. On Monday, she responded to Trump's tweet to remind people that, for some, COVID-19 does dominate their lives.
"Unfortunately it did dominate our lives didn’t it? It dominated Nick’s family’s lives and my family’s lives. I guess we 'let it' - like it was our choice??" she wrote on Instagram.
Kloots, who is raising her 1-year-old son Elvis alone after her husband's death, went on to note that "not everyone is lucky enough to spend two days in the hospital."
"I cried next to my husband for 95 days watching what COVID did to the person I love," she continued. Kloots also disagreed with Trump's assertion that COVID-19 is not something to fear. "It IS something to be afraid of," she wrote on Instagram. "After you see the person you love the most die from this disease you would never say what this tweet says."
"There is no empathy to all the lives lost," she added. "He is bragging instead. It is sad. It is hurtful. It is disgraceful."
The heartbroken widow also shared a tearful video on her Instagram Story begging the president to "have some empathy," noting that even if her husband had survived "it would have forever affected and changed our lives."
Cordero suffered greatly in his efforts to fight the coronavirus, seeing his leg amputated due to dangerous blood clots being found in his toes as a result of complications, as CNN reported over the summer.
Not every person who lost someone to COVID-19 has the same platform as Kloots to speak out against President Trump's dismissive take on the virus and the courage it must have taken for her to speak up is remarkable. But more than that, her words serve as a horribly tragic reminder that she felt she had to say anything in the first place.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.