The widow of a 41-year-old Broadway actor who died of COVID has slammed US President Donald Trump’s message that Americans shouldn’t fear the virus or let it 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?” dancer Amanda Kloots wrote on Instagram on Tuesday (US time).
Kloots’ husband, actor Nick Cordero, died in April after a long battle with the deadly virus.
She had documented his harrowing fight against the coronavirus on her Instagram.
Cordero was intubated on April 1. Kloots said he also suffered pneumonia, went into septic shock, had two “mini strokes”, had a temporary pacemaker and had from blood-clotting complications that led to his right leg being amputated.
“Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to spend two days in the hospital,” Kloots said, referring to Mr Trump’s short stay for coronavirus treatment.
“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.”
Mr Trump left Walter Reed medical centre on Monday night (local time), three days after he was flown there for treatment and hours after the medical team treating him for COVID-19 cautioned he was “not out of the woods yet”.
He was flown back to the White House on Marine One, where he appeared on a balcony within minutes of his arrival. A still infectious Mr Trump whipped off his face mask as he farewelled the helicopter.
A day earlier, he had taken part in a controversial drive-by outside the hospital, waving to adoring crowds from a black SUV.
On Monday, Mr Trump defended his conduct in a video posted to social media.
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” he said.
“You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines, all developed recently. And you’re gonna beat it. I went, I didn’t feel so good, and two days ago, I could have left two days ago, two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time.
“I said just recently, better than 20 years ago. Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen. We have the greatest country in the world.”
“Maybe I’m immune, I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful, we have the best medicines in the world. And it all happened very shortly, and they’re all getting approved, and the vaccines are coming momentarily.”
That tweet struck a nerve with Kloots, who said she was usually not interested in politics “but this is kind of hard to ignore”. She said she was “frozen” and couldn’t believe what she saw in Mr Trump’s tweet.
An emotional Kloots posted her own message to others who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
“Not everyone’s lucky enough,” she said, before pausing to collect herself, “to walk out of the hospital after two days”.
Kloots and Cordero had a one-year-old son, Elvis. She said she remained scared of COVID because if she also died, Elvis would be an orphan.
“It’s beyond hurtful. And have some empathy. Why are you bragging? Have empathy to the Americans that you are our leader,” she said.
“To act like this disease is nothing and you got right over it, I’m so happy that you did.
“You know, thank God you did. But guess what? There are a lot of people that didn’t.”
So far, more than 210,000 Americans have died in the pandemic, and nearly eight million have been infected.