Tuesday night's debate in Cleveland between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will feature a special guest invited by the Biden campaign: Kristin Urquiza, the San Francisco woman who gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention about her late father who died from COVID-19.
Urquiza first gained the attention of the Democratic establishment following a July obituary she wrote with her sister-in-law for her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, in The Arizona Republic. Mark Urquiza died on June 30 about a month after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
"His death [was] due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through a clear lack of leadership, refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize risk," the sisters wrote at the time.
Urquiza, 39, works as deputy director of Mighty Earth, an environmental nonprofit, and she lives in San Francisco’s Richmond District, as the Chronicle reported. She went on to speak out on the Today show, NPR, and elsewhere, and was then invited to give a speech at the virtual DNC in August.
"My dad was a healthy 65-year-old,” she said in her speech. “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump — and for that he paid with his life."
As she told the Times in July, she didn't feel like her obituary said anything radical, it was simply "the truth," and in addition to President Trump she blames Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for not taking adequate care to protect Arizonans.
"I’m not comfortable grieving silently because I believe that my dad’s death was preventable,” she said. “And had the Ducey administration, the Trump administration, been listening to experts, doctors, epidemiologists, Dr. Fauci, we would be in a completely different situation. I needed to speak out."
Urquiza tweeted from her hotel room in Cleveland Tuesday morning with a photo of herself, writing, "Working on my raised eyebrow game for throwing all the shade [at President Trump] during tonight’s #PresidentialDebate."
Working on my raised eyebrow game for throwing all the shade @realDonaldTrump during tonight’s #PresidentialDebate #PresidentialDebate2020 #TrumpLiedPeopleDied pic.twitter.com/mGD6WTzNHv— Kristin Urquiza, MPA (she/her) (@kdurquiza) September 29, 2020
KRON4 was the first local news source to report on the tweet.
Will Urquiza's presence be unsettling to Trump? It's hard to say. And CNN notes that the president is planning to get as personal as possible with attacks on Biden and talk about Hunter Biden's lucrative overseas gigs, facilitated by his dad. But given that we learned this week that Trump wrote off over $700,000 in "consulting fees" to his daughter Ivanka, can he really talk? He'll sure try.
The debate kicks off at 6 p.m. PT.