A Texas woman used her mother’s obituary to slam politicians’ response to the coronavirus pandemic after her mother died from the virus.
“Isabelle was a giant, and powerful in her kindness. She made a difference each and every day in many people's lives. And like hundreds and thousands of others, she should still be alive today,” Fiana Tulip wrote in an obituary for her mother, Isabelle Papadimitriou, published Tuesday by The Dallas Morning News.
Papadimitriou died July 4 after a week of battling COVID-19. She was 64.
“Her undeserving death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to hedge their bets on the lives of healthcare workers through a lack of leadership, through a refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and through an inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize the risks of the coronavirus. Her death could have been prevented,” Tulip wrote.
Tulip also wrote an op-ed published Tuesday by the Austin American-Statesman more directly slamming Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottWhere election review efforts stand across the US The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP Texas limits business with Ben & Jerry's over Israel move MORE’s (R) response to the pandemic and blaming him for her mother’s death.
She invited Abbott to her mother’s burial, noting that Papadimitriou is one of 525 Dallas County residents who have died from COVID-19 thus far.
Tulip wrote that her mother, a respiratory therapist, “waved off” suggestions from family to go to the hospital after experiencing some symptoms because she knew the hospital was at capacity. But by the time she was taken, Tulip said it was too late.
“My mother likely contracted the virus at the hospital where she worked during the period when your Executive Order No. GA-18 forbade local governments from implementing their own safety measures, such as mandating the wearing of masks, to protect the public and healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19,” Tulip wrote. “There is no doubt that poor policy and terrible leadership were responsible for her death.”
She said that Abbott’s statewide mask order on July 2 was too late to help her mother. Several other states had already implemented mask orders by the time Abbott issued the mandate, which came after he publicly feuded with local leaders across the state who had issued such requirements.
“I invite you to her burial to witness our family mourning this incredible woman who gave her life to save others. You will see that we are unable to even hug each other in our grief because my brother tested positive for COVID-19 the day my mother died,” Tulip wrote. “Due to the virus we are limiting the number guests at the service, mandating everyone wear masks, keeping households six feet apart, and having hand sanitization on site. If I can manage a safe funeral, you can manage a safe state and prevent these unnecessary tragedies.”
A spokesperson for Abbott was not immediately available for comment.
Tulip is not the first family member of someone who died from COVID-19 to use their relative’s death as a platform to call out politicians' response to the pandemic. A woman in Arizona similarly used an obituary for her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, to call out Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) response to the virus.