Late actor Nick Cordero’s widow has delivered a searing public message to Donald Trump after the US President advised citizens not to let coronavirus “dominate” their lives.
Broadway star Cordero lost his 95-day coronavirus battle in July after many horrifying setbacks, including having his leg amputated, suffering a lung infection and being given a temporary pacemaker. He lost more than 27kg as he battled the illness.
By contrast, President Trump, whose positive diagnosis was revealed on Friday, spent only two days in hospital – and had a breezy message for the rest of the country upon his return to the White House. “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” he advised, as the virus death toll in the US tops 215,000.
Cordero’s widow Amanda Kloots is now raising the couple’s baby son Elvis without her husband, who died aged just 38. She spoke about the President’s message in tearful videos posted to her Instagram stories, saying she “couldn’t believe” Trump’s words.
“To all the over 200,000 families that lost a loved one to this disease, you know how terrifying it can be. Not everyone’s lucky enough to walk out of the hospital after two days.
We saw what this disease can do, so guess what? We are afraid. We are. I still am. I think about what if I got as sick as Nick – little Elvis doesn’t have his mum anymore. So I’m afraid,” she began.
“And, you know, ‘Don’t let it dominate your life’? No-one’s ‘letting’ it. Nick didn’t ‘let’ it. It wasn’t a choice. It dominated his life, my life, our families lives for 95 days. And because he didn’t make it, it’ll forever affect my life,” she said.
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Kloots then addressed the President directly, calling his comments “beyond hurtful.”
“Have some empathy. Why are you bragging? Have empathy to the Americans who are suffering and grieving – you are our leader. It’s just not fair to act like this disease is nothing and you got right over it. I’m so happy that you did and thank god you did, but guess what? There are a lot of people that didn’t. Instead of bragging about how wonderful you did, why not say ‘Now that I’ve had this disease, I now understand a little better about how it’s affected our country.’ Go there, instead of bragging. Side with your people.”
Kloots said she wanted Trump to apologise for his past inaction and vow to do “everything he possibly can” to help those dealing with the deadly pandemic, which has so far infected well over 7 million Americans.
“That’s the tweet you send … Please say something kind. Say something that might make the people that you lead feel like you’ve ‘got’ us, that you’re wrapping your arms around us and you understand what we’re going through.”
Kloots, who opened the video with the caveat that she’s “not usually political” but felt compelled to speak out, finished by vowing not to apologise for her words.
“Somebody said to me, ‘Don’t say you’re sorry when you’re grieving,’ so I’m not sorry, because It’s too sad, it’s too real. It’s real for the families, for the wives … it’ll be real for Elvis one day when he actually understands what happened to his dad.”
In follow-up posts, Kloots shared pictures from the past six months of her life, demonstrating how insensitive Trump’s advice to not let coronavirus “dominate” had been.
One heartbreaking close-up photo shows her clutching Cordero’s hand in his hospital bed, while another shows the young son who will never know his father:
Cordero was best known for starring in the 2014 musical Bullets Over Broadway, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
He was originally hospitalised at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles with a suspected coronavirus infection on March 31.
Over the following three months, he had to have his right leg amputated due to complications from the virus and was on a ventilator and unconscious for many weeks.
He also suffered two ministrokes and a septic infection, battled fungus in his lungs and was fitted with a temporary pacemaker for his heart.
Announcing his death in July, Kloots said her husband “definitely put up a fight. I will love you forever and always my sweet man.”