Broadway star Nick Cordero battled Covid-19 for months before he died in July. When his widow heard the President tell Americans not to let the virus "dominate" and not to be afraid of it, she says she stopped in her tracks.
"It was like a gut punch, bringing back... everything we went through," Amanda Kloots told CNN's Chris Cuomo Tuesday night. Cordero, a Tony-nominated actor and singer, faced complications from the virus, including an amputated leg. Kloots previously said he battled the disease for 95 days.
"Don't be afraid? We were afraid every single day," Kloots said, speaking through tears. "To tell somebody to not be afraid of this disease that took a life, that took over 200,000 lives, that took over a million lives. It's just like a dagger in the heart."
Following the President's comments -- posted in a Twitter video earlier this week -- friends and families of other Americans who battled or died from Covid-19 spoke out with anger and hurt. One New Jersey doctor who lost her father to the virus said the President's comments were adding insult to injury. A Texas emergency room nurse still suffering the effects of her diagnosis said the President's remarks were offensive and irresponsible.
More than 7.5 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus. Many say they still have lingering symptoms months after their diagnosis. More than 210,000 people have lost their lives in the US -- and more than a million have died worldwide.
"It not only has dominated the lives of the people we've lost, it's dominated the families of those people, it dominated and it still does, the hospital, the health heroes that were working every day to save my husband," Kloots said, responding to the President's remarks. "It dominated people who've lost their jobs and small businesses that have been closed and will not reopen.
"It's dominated everything," she said, adding the President "owes America an apology."
"He had a chance, since having Covid to... use the two days that he suffered in the hospital to relate to us, to relate to the world, to relate to the United States of America and he didn't. And instead, instead of showing empathy and heart, he showed his bragging nature and how well he's doing."