‘Go help her’: AOC accused of virtue signaling after she uses photo of grandma’s dilapidated home in Puerto Rico to attack Trump
“Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her – my 1st time in a year+ [because] of COVID,” the Democrat said in a tweet on Wednesday, referring to her grandmother. The post also included two photos of her grandma’s house, in which drooping ceiling panels were visible, apparently damaged by water.
This is her home. Hurricane Maria relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for [Puerto Rico]. 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.This is her home. Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR.People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them. pic.twitter.com/wnRxLalA2D— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 2, 2021
While the post was intended to take the former administration to task for its handling of disaster relief funds after Puerto Rico was slammed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, critics soon accused Ocasio-Cortez of using her grandmother’s plight to score political points. Some claimed that the progressive representative lives in “luxury,” yet allows her relative to remain in “squalid conditions.”
“Honey, you drive a Tesla and have two apartments. If your grandmother is living poor that’s because you don’t help her out,” said Lavern Spicer, a Republican congressional candidate in Florida. “I’m surprised that a socialist wouldn’t redistribute that wealth to their grandma. Sad!”
“Don't you all love it when politicians use their grandma's bad experience to virtue-signal?” another observer said.
Imagine admitting you neglect your own grandmother for attention and Twitter likes....— Doctor Vikernes (@DoctorVikernes) June 3, 2021
Imagine being a representative and having your grandmother living like this for years because you didn't realize it, and when you finally visit her, what occurs to you is to tweet against Trump and take the opportunity to ask for socialism. Go help her!— Vanessa Vallejo (@vanessavallej0) June 2, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez later hit back at her detractors, clarifying that her grandmother is “doing OK” and “had a place to go and be cared for” following the hurricane, adding “It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Ricans across the island.”
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 had a place to go to and be cared for - what about the thousands of people who don’t?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 2, 2021
Supporters also joined in to rebut the criticism, arguing that AOC was speaking on behalf of all struggling Puerto Ricans and hitting on broader social issues that affect more than her own family.
All those responding with negatively towards AOC have totally missed the point she is making! People all over PR are suffering because of the incompetence of the previous administration. AOC earned what she has so quit being haters. Give me a break!!!— Jake Squibbs (@JakeSquibbs) June 2, 2021
You are all missing the point 🤔 It ain't about her grandmother... it's about what Puerto Rican's are being asked to endure years after Maria... not to mention the power grid which still has ppl without power... but haters gonna hate 😐— FunInMia (@FunInMia) June 2, 2021
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