The wife of a New Jersey police officer who died from COVID-19 in May told CNN that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden personally reach out to her a few days after she pleaded to the public to vote President Trump out of office in an op-ed.
In her op-ed published in NJ.com on Sunday, Alice Roberts criticized Trump for downplaying his COVID-19 diagnosis when he told the public: “Don’t let it take over your lives.”
“Instead of responding to the pandemic by bringing the nation together and doing whatever it would take to control the pandemic, he ignored it, downplayed it, and pointed fingers,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts ended her op-ed by pleading with readers to vote Trump out.
“Consider the long-term consequences that his failed pandemic response has had on first responders, doctors, nurses, workers, students, teachers, and families,” Roberts wrote. “Think of how much more we still stand to lose if we re-elect President Trump who, time and again, has shown us who he is, mask off.”
During an interview on CNN on Wednesday, Roberts continued criticizing Trump’s handling of COVID-19 and urged viewers to vote for Biden on Election Day.
After telling CNN that she hopes her late husband’s death “can bring about some positive change in this country” and that she wants people to know that COVID-19 “isn’t fake news and it’s not exaggerated,” Roberts said that Trump isn’t capable of showing empathy.
“He had a choice to be more human and to show empathy, but I don’t think he’s possible — he’s not possible — it’s not possible for him to show empathy because I don’t think he can feel that emotion,” Roberts said. “I think he thinks of one person and that’s himself and he likes to grandstand. You know, he hasn’t called me to wish me his sympathies.”
Roberts then revealed that she’d heard from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) as well as Biden on Tuesday night, saying that both showed “empathy and caring and kindness and that’s really lacking in the President.”
Roberts recalled her phone call with Biden being “incredible” and that it felt like “talking to a friend.”
“He called me and he told me about his tragedies in his life, which I had already known about, and basically that no words that he could say would make a difference, he understood that,” Roberts said. “It was honestly just like talking to a friend and, you know, it was late, it was like 11:30 and we just chatted for probably 20 minutes.”
Roberts added that there aren’t “a lot of highlights in my days recently” but that Biden reaching out to her “was definitely a highlight.”
“He is the kind, caring guy and that to me is a huge piece of what we need right now in the White House,” Roberts said.
When asked what she would say to Trump if he called her, Roberts responded that she would hang up.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I could say the words I would want to say to him,” Roberts said. “But I know his words wouldn’t really be genuine so they wouldn’t — they wouldn’t really mean anything at all. I don’t want to hear from him. He has spoken in his actions and, you know, as they say, actions speak louder than words.”
Watch Roberts’ remarks below:
Alice Roberts, whose husband died of COVID-19, describes "incredible" phone call with Biden pic.twitter.com/IVUM7sdhFL
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 21, 2020