The New York City district that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) represents has been slammed by the coronavirus outbreak — but for the freshman Democrat, it’s out of sight and out of mind.
The progressive hard-liner has come under fire from a primary challenger for hosting a “virtual town hall” with her constituents — from inside of an expensive apartment in Washington, D.C., the Washington Free Beacon reported. A challenger for Ocasio-Cortez’s seat, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, chastised her for staying in the capital even after Congress skipped town.
“Out of touch”
The former bartender has been criticized for making a stereotypically rapid adjustment from socialist agitator to bougie “revolutionary,” opting last year to live in a trendy apartment in the Navy Yard neighborhood of the nation’s capital. As coronavirus devastates New York, Caruso-Cabrera didn’t hesitate to rebuke the Democrat for staying in Washington longer than necessary.
On April 1, Ocasio-Cortez held a “virtual town hall” with her constituents back in coronavirus-ridden New York, noting that her district was one of the “hardest hit” places in New York City. Caruso-Cabrera called Ocasio-Cortez an “out of touch” hypocrite for staying in the nation’s capital, instead of returning to her suffering district.
“She is out of touch,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “For weeks families have been worried about where they are going to get their next paycheck. AOC hasn’t been here to see their desperation and their struggle to survive. Why is she in DC when Congress isn’t in session?”
Taking refuge in D.C.
Ocasio-Cortez returned to Washington, D.C. to vote on the massive $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill, which the Democrat had criticized as a giveaway to corporations, according to The Hill. But after the March 27 vote, Congress adjourned. Ocasio-Cortez stayed in the capital for almost a week, her office said, even as deaths and infections racked up back home in New York.
“The congresswoman traveled to DC last Tuesday afternoon once it was clear that a House vote on the Senate’s relief bill was imminent. She arrived back in New York [Thursday] afternoon. During that time, the congresswoman has remained actively engaged in all district business,” spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.
Hitt told the New York Post that the lawmaker has been holding conference calls with officials back home and hosted a fundraiser for community groups in order to help her constituents. Ocasio-Cortez has also notably criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not implementing a rent forgiveness program, according to Politico.
Attempting to capitalize on crisis
New York City is the epicenter of the virus, and more New Yorkers have died of the coronavirus than in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to the Associated Press. Despite the urgency of the crisis, CNBC reports that Congress will be out of session until April 20 (to AOC’s credit, she’s not the only hypocrite in the halls of Congress.)
Until then, lawmakers have continued to debate a fourth round of coronavirus rescue legislation — and Ocasio-Cortez has not wasted the opportunity to push a host of costly progressive policies. With millions of Americans out of work, the self-appointed working class hero decried the impact of “environmental racism” and called for reparations to be paid to minority communities, the New York Post reports. According to the New York Times, statistics suggest that black and Hispanic people are among those hardest hit by COVID-19.
“COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities. Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions. Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations,” she tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez has also endorsed a scheme to make illegal immigrants eligible for coronavirus stimulus benefits, according to The Hill, with her fellow “Squad” member Ilhan Omar (D-MN) referring to such individuals as “American taxpayers.”