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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a photo of her grandmother’s Puerto Rico home in a state of disrepair in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to demonstrate how the U.S. had blocked relief to the territory, but some questioned why she hadn’t offered to help repair the home herself.
"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," the New York Democrat wrote on Twitter. "People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them."
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh shot back: "Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions."
"You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families," Ocasio-Cortez replied. "My abuela is okay. But instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony."
Ocasio-Cortez said the holdup in relief funds was "systemic," and said the Trump administration had a "major role, but it wasn’t just them."
"Much of it can be traced to La Junta, aka the Wall Street-connected fiscal control board that the US gave power to over the island," she said.
Hurricane Maria killed over 3,000 and wrought an estimated $90 billion in damage in Puerto Rico. The federal government has allocated about $63 billion in relief funding. The Trump administration imposed strict guidelines to ‘enforce compliance’ with federal grant standards, blaming the island’s "long history of financial mismanagement and corruption," a move which Democrats have said held up life-saving funding.
Other replies to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet noted that the congresswoman makes $174,000 per year.