Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a rising star in the House, and within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, announced Jan. 9 that she has tested positive for Covid-19. The positive test follows photos of AOC partying maskless outside in Miami.
In a statement, her office made the point that she received a booster shot this fall, and that the Congresswoman “encourages everyone to get their booster and follow all CDC guidance.” The statement also says AOC will be “recovering at home.”
It is not known when or where Ocasio-Cortez contracted the virus.
AOC is the fourth member of Congress to announce a positive Covid-19 test result just this weekend, as the omicron variant tears through the country. The other three have been: Jim Cooper (R -Tenn.); Sean Casten (D – Ill.) and Young Kim (R – Calif.).
The test result will surely intensify accusations that have been hurled at her in recent days.
On Jan. 6, photos were published showing her partying in Miami Beach. Those pictures were followed by the release of a video of her, again maskless, at an outdoor drag event.
The First Round of Criticism
When Ocasio-Cortez arrived in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted: “Welcome to Florida, AOC! We hope you’re enjoying a taste of freedom here in the Sunshine State thanks to @RonDeSantisFL’s leadership.” In a press conference, he said that she and others “flee to” Florida from their own locked-down states.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is not one to shy away from a debate, responded to critics at the time.
“Hasn’t Gov. DeSantis been inexplicably missing for like 2 weeks?” she wrote in a quote tweet. “If he’s around, I would be happy to say hello. His social media team seems to have been posting old photos for weeks.”
The Republican Governor later said he was accompanying his wife to breast cancer treatments for the last several weeks.
AOC arrived when New York was in the middle of a renewed Covid crisis. It was later revealed that the Sunshine State had high Covid numbers at that time, as well. According to data collected by The New York Times, Florida had more than 75,000 new cases of the virus on Dec. 30, the day AOC was maskless at a sushi bar.
The National Review coverage focused on the fact that she was in Miami, enjoying herself, at a time when “her native New York City reported a record number of Covid cases.”
Then a second wave of criticism emerged as people noticed that, in the photos, AOC wasn’t wearing a mask. She has long been a supporter of masks, social distancing, and other mandates aimed to curb the spread of Coronavirus. Yet there she was, in a large crowd, maskless. She was soon labeled a hypocrite by her opponents.
A Second Round of Criticism
Brandon Leslie, a conservative journalist based in Florida, tweeted: “Rules for thee but not for me.”
Leslie has jumped on the new information. He believes that contraction of Omicron by a vaccinated and boosted Congresswoman shows that the left’s “vaccination narrative is collapsing before our eyes.” Despite Leslie’s claims, many studies have shown that Covid-19 vaccines mitigate contracting and spreading Covid-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that it is possible to contract the virus while vaccinated. But the symptoms are generally milder and far less risky, especially after receiving a Moderna or Pfizer booster.
Could AOC’s Miami masklessness hurt her in her own Congressional District? She represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes part of the Bronx and part of northcentral Queens. In each of her two campaigns, her vote count put her above 70%. It is unlikely those numbers will change anytime soon.