Critics slammed Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y) online on Wednesday after the progressive lawmaker opted to use her sick grandmother’s plight in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as a way to attack former President Donald Trump.
Detractors took issue with the notion that Ocasio-Cortez — a well-paid member of Congress who reportedly owns a Tesla and rents two apartments — would use her grandmother’s suffering as a means to make a political point instead of quietly helping her out.
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“Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread. “I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year bc of COVID.”
“This is her home,” she added, showing pictures of the home with a damaged roof, very little furniture, and no bed. “Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”
Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year bc of COVID.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1622656813.0
“Honey, you drive a Tesla and have two apartments. If your grandmother is living poor that’s because you don’t help her out,” charged Florida Republican congressional candidate Lavern Spicer in response to the tweets. “I’m surprised that a socialist wouldn’t redistribute that wealth to their grandma. Sad!”
@AOC Honey, you drive a Tesla and have two apartments. If your grandmother is living poor that’s because you don’t… https://t.co/TijyQ3rAZz
— Lavern Spicer (@Lavern Spicer)1622657826.0
“Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions,” Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh added.
@AOC Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions
— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh)1622659148.0
Walsh later lambasted Ocasio-Cortez for using her grandmother’s suffering to “score political points” after the lawmaker responded to him saying, “Instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony.”
Others joined the onslaught, telling Ocasio-Cortez, “Sell your Tesla!” and suggesting that she care for her grandmother instead of requesting that the government take care of everything.
Daily Wire writer Harry Khachatrian posted an image displaying two options that Ocasio-Cortez had: “Using her $174,000 salary to help her abuela” and “using her abuela to help attack Trump for Twitter clout.”
AOC in a nutshell: https://t.co/Q0uaiJIrAc https://t.co/0ep7Kth4xr
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry Khachatrian)1622660643.0
The Libertarian Party of Tennessee quipped: “So you agree, the government is incompetent with getting relief [money] to the people and would be better done through voluntarily contributions?”
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, killing thousands and leaving thousands more with severely damaged property. The recovery there has been hampered by a series of earthquakes in 2019, as well.
A government probe made public this year found that Trump administration officials did delay about $20 billion in post-Maria recovery funding. The New York Post noted that Trump routinely bickered with Puerto Rican officials during his presidency, accusing them of being corrupt and inept, and opposing sending federal dollars there.
Despite that, over the course of his presidency, Trump did approve sending more than $16 billion to Puerto Rico to rebuild vital infrastructure.