Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last week that she had visited her grandmother's home in Puerto Rico, which she described as in shambles following Hurricane Maria in 2017. She used the thread on Twitter to criticize former President Donald Trump's relief efforts, falsely claiming that he "blocked relief [money]" for Puerto Rico. Sen. Ted Cruz, who has often fact-checked Ocasio-Cortez, shared Walsh's post about the congresswoman's grandmother's "dilapidated house," adding a confused emoji.
According to several news sources, in reality, President Trump signed multiple relief Executive Orders totaling 43.6 billion dollars in 2017, 2019, and 2020. Additionally, the 2017 disaster supply aid was held up in shipping containers as Puerto Rico officials struggled to bring the ships into port.
Faithwire reports that The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator, responded to AOC's post, calling her a hypocrite for living a life of "luxury" while her grandmother was struggling. He wrote, "Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions."
Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 2, 2021
AOC responded to Walsh by asserting that the issue goes beyond just her grandmother. She wrote, "You don't even have a concept for the role of [first generation], first-born daughters play in their families. My Abuela is okay. But instead of only caring for mine [and] letting others suffer, I'm calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine [with] in having a U.S. colony."
You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 2, 2021
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. https://t.co/QN0ZVoyDt2
In response, Walsh launched a GoFundMe campaign on Friday seeking funds for Ocasio-Cortez's grandmother in order to repair her home.
The GoFundMe campaign was shut down after it earned $104,000, with the company saying that the family refused to take the donations. "The beneficiary has made clear to our Trust and Safety team they do not wish to accept the donations," GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told The New York Post concerning columnist Matt Walsh's "Save AOC's Abuela's Ancestral Home" campaign.
As you’ve heard, @AOC’s abuela is living in a dilapidated home that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. AOC is unable to help her own grandma for whatever reason, so I have set up this Go Fund Me campaign to save her home. Please give if you can. #HelpAbuela https://t.co/F1N0Jxgnxg— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 4, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez has made much of her Bronx upbringing and immigrant heritage, but she has largely avoided bringing information about her relatives into the spotlight. She shared a family photo in 2018 with a lady described as her grandmother Clotilde, who was apparently living with the congresswoman's mother Blanca in Florida in 2019. AOC's second grandma, on the other hand, has not been publicly named, and it is unknown whose destroyed home was shown in the photographs AOC posted to Twitter last week.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wroblewski/Stringer
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.