According to her death certificate, Ruth Glosser, the 97-year-old grandmother of controversial Trump advisor Stephen Miller, died from complications related to COVID-19 in a Los Angeles-area assisted living facility this month. Her son, Miller’s uncle, is taking aim at his nephew and the Trump administration.
David Glosser, the brother of Miller’s mother, has publicly denounced Miller’s anti-immigration policies. He tells Mother Jones that tens of thousands of people who have died from the coronavirus pandemic might have lived if not for Donald Trump’s “lack of a response” to the outbreak, adding, “With the death of my mother, I’m angry and outraged at [Miller] directly and the administration he has devoted his energy to supporting.”
On July 4, the retired neuropsychologist posted a notice on Facebook that read:
“This morning my mother, Ruth Glosser, died of the late effects of COVID-19 like so many thousands of other people; both young and old. She survived the acute infection but was left with lung and neurological damage that destroyed her will to eat and her ability to breathe well enough to sustain arousal and consciousness. Over an 8-week period she gradually slipped away and died peacefully this morning.”
When Mother Jones reached out to Miller for a comment, a White House spokesperson responded, “This is categorically false, and a disgusting use of so-called journalism when the family deserves privacy to mourn the loss of a loved one. His grandmother did not pass away from COVID. She was diagnosed with COVID in March and passed away in July so that timeline does not add up at all. His grandmother died peacefully in her sleep from old age. I would hope that you would choose not to go down this road.”
Glosser did not thank the administration for its concern, writing, “Keeping the tragic facts about COVID deaths of our countrymen and women, young and old, from the American public serves no purpose other than to obscure the need for a coherent national, scientifically based, public health response to save others from this disease. My mother led a long, satisfying, productive life of family and community service. She had nothing to be ashamed of, and concealing her cause of death to offer ‘privacy’ to me, our family, her hundreds of relatives and friends, does nothing to assuage our regret at her loss.”
Regarding the White House’s denial of Ruth Glosser’s cause of death, David Glosser shared her death certificate, which lists the cause as “respiratory arrest” resulting from “COVID-19.”
In light of the document, the White House rep reiterated, “Again, this is categorically false. She had a mile [sic] case of COVID-19 in March. She was never hospitalized and made a full and quick recovery.”
Miller—a SaMo High School alumnus who has said that Trump’s immigration powers “will not be questioned”—has his fingerprints all over the administration’s response to the coronavirus emergency. He’s credited with helping write the speech Trump delivered on March 11, in which the president labeled the infection a “foreign virus,” downplayed the damage it had already wrought here, and spread panic by announcing that he would suspend all travel from Europe to the United States. Miller has also tried to use the pandemic to ratchet up further anti-immigration measures.
David Glosser has emphasized that he has come out against Miller at the behest of several relatives who want their family to be disassociated from Miller. He points out that Miller’s staunch rejection of immigrants would have had fatal results for his own family, who escaped Tsarist Belarus for the United States.
Before the 2016 election, Glosser wrote in a Pennsylvania newspaper, “If in the early 20th century the USA had built a wall against poor desperate ignorant immigrants of a different religion, like the Glossers, all of us would have gone up the crematoria chimneys with the other six million kinsmen whom we can never know.”
Glosser told Mother Jones, “I wanted to make it clear the best I can that the message the Trump administration pumps out—that immigrants who come here spread death, destruction, disease, and murder—is wrong. We were those people not too long ago. That’s the story of America.”
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