Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came forth on Thursday to rip into President Trump’s false claims regarding the death toll in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, revealing that her grandfather was one of the “uncounted” people to die as a direct result of the storm.
“My own grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm,” Ocasio-Cortez, whose family hails from Puerto Rico, tweeted. “Uncounted.”
“Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories,” she continued. “They have lost children, friends, & family members. Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks followed just hours after Trump, without evidence, alleged that Democratic lawmaker had inflated Hurricane Maria’s death toll to “make him look as bad as possible.”
My own grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted.
Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories. They have lost children, friends, & family members.
Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy. https://t.co/ncukYyJsRu
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) September 13, 2018
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”
“This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”
The tweet was met with scrutiny on both sides, even among two of Trump’s vocal defenders who are running for office in Florida.
“I disagree with the president – an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló agreed. I’ve been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching,” Florida Governor Rick Scott wrote on Thursday afternoon.
Here’s how Americans responded:
I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for representing not only your district, but the very best of what it means to be a resilient Puerto Rican. Estamos orgullosos de ti y tu trabajo.
— jasjuliet 🇵🇷 (@jasjuliet) September 13, 2018
My condolences Alexandria, but your recent win on the political stage would make your Grandfather so proud he would cry! Take comfort in that. And we will survive this orange disaster!
— V San Jose (@veldasue) September 13, 2018
— Owen H (@UncleOwenLives) September 13, 2018
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK