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Widows of John Prine, Nick Cordero Slam Trump’s “Don’t Be Afraid of COVID” Tweets

on October 06, 2020, 2:32pm

If anything good were to come from Donald Trump contracting COVID-19, it would have been a change in messaging from the White House. Instead — and completely unsurprisingly — he’s still downplaying the pandemic in complete defiance of reality. Now, the widows of two prominent individuals who have died from COVID-19 are slamming Trump for his callous tweets about the dangers of the disease.

Shortly before being discharged from Walter Reed on Monday after just a two-day stay, Trump tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. 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!” (Fact check: He was on corticosteroid dexamethasone, a steroid reportedly only administered in severe COVID-19 cases and known to produce “emotional instability” and “euphoria,” at the time of his tweet.)

The first to fire back was Fiona Whelan Prine, wife of the late John Prine, who passed away back in April. She called Trump “wrong again,” saying that she has reason to be “very afraid of COVID-19.” “The disease has broken my heart and changed my family forever,” she tweeted. “It has killed 210,000 Americans. You are a sad selfish man. We deserve so much better.”

In a separate tweet, she added, “Trump: ‘Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.’ Me: Covid-19 is terrifying. It devastated my life.”

A few hours later, Amanda Kloots, the widow of Broadway star Nick Cordero, had her own heartbreaking and angry words for Trump. Calling Trump’s remarks “sad,” “hurtful,” and “disgraceful,” Kloots recalled spending “95 days watching what COVID did” to Cordero, who caught the disease in March and died in July. On Instagram, Kloots wrote,

“To all the over 208,000 Americans who lost loved ones to this virus — I stand by you, with you, holding your hand. 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?? Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to spend two days in the hospital.”

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To all the over 208,000 Americans who lost loved ones to this virus – I stand by you, with you, holding your hand. 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?? Unfortunately 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. It IS something to be afraid of. 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. He is bragging instead. It is sad. It is hurtful. It is disgraceful.

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Kloots dug further into Trump’s BS in an Instagram Live video posted shortly after he returned to the White House. Trump tweeted a video in which he claimed to have “learned so much about” COVID-19 during his short hospital stay, and reiterated his “don’t let it dominate you” line. Kloots wasn’t having it:

“No one’s ‘letting it.’ Nick didn’t ‘let it.’ It wasn’t a choice. It dominated his life, it dominated my life, it dominated our family’s lives for 95 days. And because he didn’t make it, it will forever affect my life. Even if he would have survived, it would have forever affected and changed our lives. It’s beyond hurtful. Have some empathy. Why are you bragging? Have empathy to the Americans that — you are our leader. Have some empathy to the people who are suffering and grieving.”

Trump’s flurry of irresponsible, egotistical nonsense has continued since he left Walter Reed. On Tuesday, the day after he left Walter Reed, he posted a message calling COVID-19 “in most populations far less lethal” than the flu. Facebook yanked the post for violating rules about spreading misinformation, while Twitter slapped it with a warning label.

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