As Flor Cruceta grew emotional at the event in Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump asked “Did you say your mother had Covid?” Your mother? Holding back tears, she remembers how she and her mother immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2006 to live their American dream.
“She had breast cancer but it metastasized to her brain, bones and lungs and she died on the 19th,” Ms. Cruceta said.
“I’m here because of her. She was supposed to be there and asking and thanking you for that – if they were to take – during this epidemic, you brought people together. We lost our jobs but we learned to love our families. So I say it about her. “
After being asked what he would do to facilitate the immigration system for families like his to become citizens and vote, Mr Trump entered his response on a merit-based system before returning to the mother by Mrs. Cruceta.
“I mean regarding your situation with your mother, it’s just devastating because I can imagine how you feel and that looks like a great woman,” Mr. Trump began.
“The love you have for your mother, I can see it, it’s hard. And so many people and they die alone. They die alone because it’s such a vicious thing. You can’t go there and hold their hand. I can’t give them a kiss on their good night. It is a terrible, terrible thing. And I hope the vaccines will be available soon. Did you have Covid? You didn’t have it well? ”
When she answered “no”, the president looked confused.
“You didn’t have it, your mother. We will take care of it. He will be taken care of. Vaccines are going to make a big difference. What made a big difference is Remdesivir. “
Ms Cruceta, who lives in Harrisburg, Pa. And recently became a citizen at her mother’s request, said Wednesday she was grateful for the opportunity to speak to the president.
“He responded a bit on immigration, but he misunderstood that my mother was dying from brain, lung and bone cancer, not Covid-19,” she said in a post on Facebook.
While Mr Trump’s response included a pledge to soon announce a new merit-based system that would allow more legal immigration like that of the Cruceta family, the backlash has focused on the president’s apparent confusion.