NEW YORK - The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States. President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus last week. Shortly after being released from the hospital on Monday evening, he made a video in which he told the American people not to be afraid.
"I learned so much about coronavirus and one thing that's for certain — don't let it dominate you," Trump said. "Don't be afraid of it."
Those comments have many families who have lost loved ones to the virus speechless. Adam Glenn, who lost his father to COVID-19 in April, said the president is downplaying a serious matter.
"I was disgusted by it," Glenn said. "It shows the lack of empathy and the lack of sort of sympathy for what is happening to people out there."
Glenn's father, Jimmy, 89, died after being hospitalized for more than three weeks. Glenn said he had to fight for three weeks to get his father convalescent plasma and other experimental treatments.
"I think it's easy for someone in his position to say don't be afraid of it because he gets all the best treatment," Glenn said. "He gets every experimental treatment out there without having to worry. For the average American, this is really, really scary. This is really serious. We don't get to go to the hospital for precautionary measures and have a team of doctors with us."
Glenn and other families say the president's words are hurtful.
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With tears in her eyes, Amanda Kloots, the widow of Broadway star Nick Cordero who died from complications of COVID-19, called the president's words disgraceful.
"Not everyone is lucky enough to walk out of the hospital," Kloots said in an Instagram video she shared.
Kloots said she cried next to her husband for 95 days watching what the virus did to the person she loved.
"There is no empathy for all the lives lost. He is bragging instead," Kloots said of the president. "It is sad. It is hurtful. It is disgraceful."