The U.S. is nearing a staggering 160,000 deaths related to COVID-19, with about 1,000 Americans dying every day. Every grim milestone comes with heartbreaking stories from people across the country who have lost their loved ones in this pandemic.
Widow Stacey Nagy is catching major media attention because of an obituary she published with her local paper, the Jefferson Jimplecute, following her husband’s death on July 22. Nagy’s husband David, 79, died from COVID-19 in the ICU at Christus Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview, Texas. In the obituary, she blames Republican leaders, specifically Donald Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott, for her husband’s death and the needless loss of so many others.
"David's death was needless," Nagy wrote in the obituary, which she later posted to Facebook. "The blame for his death and the deaths of all the other innocent people, falls on Trump, Abbott and all the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."
Trump recently came under fire for saying the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. "is what it is."
Nagy criticized those in the community who are “the many ignorant, self centered and selfish people who refused to follow the advice of the medical professionals, believing their 'right' not to wear a mask was more important than killing innocent people."
After publishing the obituary, Nagy told Snopes she was glad her story has gathered so much attention. “It gets me so angry that people aren’t taking this seriously,” Nagy told the fact-checking site. “It’s almost like they’re saying, ‘Who cares about the older people?’ I’ve been with my husband for 20 years and all of a sudden he’s gone. People should know how this makes others feel.”
She also criticized the politicization of the coronavirus. “It’s not political,” she said. “It’s life and death.”
Abbott was one of the first governors to reopen a state. Texas is now nearing 8,000 COVID-19 deaths, after a surge forced Abbott to pause reopening and implement a state-wide mask requirement.
To get a sense of how badly some state governments and the Trump administration have handled this virus, we can look to Japan—a democracy with about a third of the U.S. population and greater density. They could have about 50,000 deaths, maybe more, right? Well, they just barely passed 1,000. That’s one-eighth of the deaths just in Texas.
Like many who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, Nagy wasn’t able to be with her husband as he died. She told Snopes that the last time she saw him was through a glass barrier and he was unconscious.
"I miss my husband dearly," she said. "I'm taking one day at a time to just try to keep going. When I wrote that thing it was because of him. I don't want his death just to disappear. I wrote that and partially, it keeps him alive for me."