People use honest obituaries to blame governors for coronavirus deaths and invite them to funerals of loved ones


Tulip posted her mother’s obituary on Tuesday. In it she wrote about her love of the flute, her two dogs, Shadow and Gauner, and how “the recklessness of politicians” led to the “unworthy death” of her mother.

“Isabelle was a giant, powerful in her kindness. She has made a difference in the lives of many people every day. And like hundreds and thousands of others, she should still be alive today, ”Tulip wrote.

“His outrageous death is due to the negligence of politicians who continue to bet on the lives of healthcare workers for lack of leadership, a refusal to recognize the seriousness of this crisis and an inability and unwillingness to give decisive direction on how to minimize the risk of coronavirus, ”she said.

In an open letter accompanying the obituary published in Austin American-Statesman, Tulip specifically targeted Texas Governor Greg Abbott, writing that his “inaction and active denial” of the devastation of the virus means that those who are lost are not “Only numbers for you”.

She also invited Abbott to her funeral “to witness firsthand the tragedy of my brother and I mourning our incredible mother who gave her life to save others.” “

This “honest obituary” is not the first of its kind.

An Arizona woman invited Governor Doug Ducey to his father’s funeral earlier this month, throwing blame for his “terrible leadership” and inability to demand masks. Kristin Urquiza, a native of Phoenix and a resident of San Francisco, coined the hashtag #HonestObit after her father’s obituary was widely shared on social media.

Indeed, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to climb across the United States, family members who have lost loved ones are calling out to leaders in an unusual way: posting grievance-tinged memorials in their local newspapers.

Both obituaries mention Marked By Covid, a grassroots movement dedicated to calling on leaders to prevent more unnecessary deaths from covid. The organization “funds” honest obituaries “for others who believe poor leadership is the cause of the death of their loved ones,” the group said in a statement to CNN.

Its website allows anyone to apply for funding through a form, asking them, “Obituaries are basically advertisements for the dead. You pay them and you have the last word. Why not tell the truth?

Next month, August 13, Marked By Covid will take to the streets for a national day of action. Volunteers will support actions in current and burgeoning covid-19 hotspots; local voters will create vigils and trends outside the offices of their elected officials to honor the lives lost to the coronavirus, raise awareness of the seriousness of the pandemic and challenge their leaders to only reopen when it is safe. ”

Abbott did not respond publicly to the letter and did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

But his stance on masks has certainly changed.

Initially resistant to a shutdown and a mask warrant, Abbott said Monday that “we strongly encourage everyone, very simply, for a few months, to wear a face mask every time you go into public. This way you can make sure you are doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and you are doing your part to save lives. ”

While there is no statewide mandate requiring masks in Arizona, Governor Ducey announced on June 17 that he would allow mayors to create their own restriction.

Scottsdale was the first to make it mandatory from June 19, and other large municipalities, including Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, issued theirs later.

In an emailed statement to CNN last week, Patrick Ptak, a spokesperson for Governor Ducey, said: “Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of Mark Anthony Urquiza. We know that nothing can fully alleviate the pain associated with its loss, and every loss caused by this virus is tragic. ”

He did not say whether the governor would attend the funeral.

CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this story.


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