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story.lead_photo.caption Rep. Ian Mackey, D-St. Louis; Rep. Kevin Windham, D-Hillsdale; and Rep. Matt Sain, D-Kansas City, hold a banner Tuesday in the House Lounge of photos of Missourians who have died from the coronavirus. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

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A St. Louis woman who lost her mother this summer to COVID-19 has organized a photo memorial for Missourians lost to the disease, and she and the leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives called upon Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday to do more to address the pandemic.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Missouri had lost 1,312 people to COVID-19.

Angela Kender said her mother, Gaye Griffin-Snyder, 71, lost her fight with COVID-19 on June 6 in an intensive care unit in St. Louis.

"My mother was fierce, and she had survived many struggles," while still maintaining a positive attitude, Kender said.

She said her mom's last words to her, four days before she died, were: "'It's not going to win. I'm fighting.'"

Kender has collected some photos of other Missourians lost to the disease and planned to deliver copies Tuesday to the offices of Parson and other officials.

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She said similar acts are happening this week across the country.

Given the disease is still new and yet to be fully understood, she added, it's not acceptable to speak about it as if it's easy to get over.

Kender said Parson should require people to wear masks in all public spaces.

Requiring masks is something Parson has said he does not want to do because of the mandate involved, though local authorities are free to make their own decisions.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, and other speakers also said Missouri's schools are not ready to safely reopen, and Parson could have made tough decisions earlier that would have left the state in a better place.

Lawmakers are at the state Capitol for a special session called by Parson on what he has said is an agenda to address violent crime in the state.

Kender is collecting photos at [email protected]

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