Many of the legislators and staff at the scene of January’s Capitol Hill riot have described some type of lasting psychological impact.
The latest public statement came on Friday when U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) revealed that she has been in therapy since the incident. Her remarks came during a discussion of the Jan. 6 riot during an interview with Latinos USA.
“You need to recognized trauma”
“After the 6th, I took some time and it was really [Rep.] Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) when I explained to her what happened to me, like the day of, because I ran to her office and she was like, ‘You need to recognize trauma,'” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Describing the mental and emotional toll in her own terms, she equated it to those who have “served in war.”
The New York Democrat went on to recount her own personal history in an apparent effort to add credibility to her views on the matter.
“And I feel like I learned this the hard way after my father had passed away when I was a teenager. … That happened at a young age and I locked it away,” she continued. “You have to live with it for years.”
Following the Trump administration, she insisted that many Latinos and other minorities are “in a very reactive mode,” which also takes a psychological toll.
“Buildings like right next to the dome”
“Oh yeah, I’m doing therapy but also I’ve just slowed down,” she said in describing her response to the situation.
Progressive politicians and pundits have begun citing her remarks as Congress debates the size and scope of a probe into the Capitol building breach.
Of course, video evidence brought to light the fact that Ocasio-Cortez was not in the building at the time of the riot, which she has since sought to clarify.
“For you all to know, there’s the Capitol Hill complex,” she said in a social media post. “But members of Congress, except for, you know, the speaker and other very, very high ranking ones, don’t actually work in a building with the dome. There’s buildings like right next to the dome, and that’s where our actual offices are.”
On the other side of the aisle, many of those legislators who were actually in the building are apparently functioning well and object to the depiction of the riot as a violent insurrection. If Ocasio-Cortez truly is overwhelmed by the aftermath of that event, however, much of the nation would invite her to retire from Congress.