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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was hammered on Twitter Wednesday after she posted a lengthy thread highlighting the plight of her grandmother in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
“Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill,” Ocasio-Cortez began. “I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID.
“This is her home,” the congresswoman added, posting a picture of a dwelling with a damaged roof, little dresser, and no bedding. “Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”
Over the next few tweets, the self-described democratic socialist took aim at the former president and local politicians over the distribution of aid following the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“And for the record – my abuela is doing okay. It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Rican’s across the island,” she concluded. “She had a place to go to and be cared for – what about the thousands of people who don’t?”
Social media users were apoplectic that the lawmaker didn’t do more for her aged relative.
“Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions,” tweeted Daily Wire host Matt Walsh.
“Honey, you drive a Tesla and have two apartments,” Florida GOP congressional candidate Lavern Spicer chimed in. “If your grandmother is living poor that’s because you don’t help her out. I’m surprised that a socialist wouldn’t redistribute that wealth to their grandma. Sad!”
“Sell your Tesla!” added Twitter user @beyondreasdoubt. “You should be ashamed for letting her live like this. We have a responsibility to care for our elders!”
The Washington Free Beacon reported this month that Ocasio-Cortez owns a Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which retails for between $46,000 and $59,000. Multiple outlets have previously reported that the New York congresswoman rests her head in a tony DC apartment building where rents range from $2,000 for a studio apartment to over $5,000 for a three-bedroom.
Other Twitter users took issue with the political aspect of AOC’s story.
“So you agree, the government is incompetent with getting relief $ to the people and would be better done through voluntarily contributions?” asked the Libertarian Party of Tennessee’s official account.
“I just spent a week in Puerto Rico: everywhere from San Juan to eastern coast and western coast,” another user chimed in. “I never spoke to a single resident that thought anything was Trumps fault but instead LITERALLY EVERYONE said the Puerto Rican government sucks”.
“Cousins in San Juan say that the local government is taking the money and not doing anything,” another user agreed. “He described it as what Wyclef did with the Haiti relief money. Are you willing to investigate that?”
Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Walsh, saying: “You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families. My abuela is okay. But 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.”
“You used your grandmother’s suffering to score political points. You’re the one who publicized this,” Walsh retorted. “So I am entitled now to ask why you haven’t bothered to fix your grandmother’s collapsing roof or buy her some new furniture? Why are you waiting for the government to do it?”
Puerto Rico’s recovery from Maria, which killed approximately 2,975, has been hampered by a series of earthquakes in 2019, followed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, a government watchdog found that the Trump administration was responsible for stalling about $20 billion in federal funds to help Puerto Rico recover from Maria and also obstructed a probe into the delay. During his presidency, Trump bickered with Puerto Rican officials, blasting them as corrupt and inept, and opposed spending federal dollars to rebuild infrastructure that was wiped out by the storm.
In September 2020, however, Trump approved spending $13 billion to rebuild an electrical grid that was wiped out by the storm. In his last weeks in office, Trump announced a $3.7 billion grant to help rebuild damaged water and wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and reservoirs.
With Post wires
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