Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared images on social media last week showing her grandmother’s severely damaged house in Puerto Rico while claiming that the residence remained in disrepair, nearly four years after the hurricane, in part because “Trump blocked relief $ for PR.”
But when a Daily Mail reporter visited Rivera’s home this week, a woman there who claimed to be AOC’s aunt said the congresswoman’s story wasn’t accurate.
The aunt noted that the Category 5 hurricane caused extensive damage to the island – but insisted Trump wasn’t to blame for residents struggling to receive aid.
“It’s a problem here in Puerto Rico with the administration and the distribution of help,” the aunt told the Daily Mail. “It is not a problem with Washington. We had the assistance and it didn’t get to the people.”
After Ocasio-Cortez’s June 2 posts on Twitter, conservative commentator Matt Walsh fired back at the congresswoman, saying it was “Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions.”
Matt Walsh later raised more than $100,000 for Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother until the online campaign was ended – but the congresswoman’s family declined to accept the assistance.
‘This is a problem we could’ve solved not just for abuela but they could’ve taken the money, fix the ceiling, bought her some furniture she clearly needs, and then could’ve taken the rest of the money and helped the neighbors, they could’ve helped the whole community, but they didn’t want to do that,’ Walsh stated
In her June 2 Twitter thread, Ocasio-Cortez claimed the Trump administration “had a major role” in preventing many Puerto Ricans from receiving hurricane relief funds. But she added that much of the problem was “systemic,” and also blamed “La Junta,” the island’s fiscal control board, as well as local leaders.
The end result, she claimed, has been “policies that pushed out local families.”
Ocasio-Cortez then called for audits of how relief funding was being distributed – and assured her Twitter followers that Rivera was “doing okay” despite what the photos of her home seemed to suggest.
“She had a place to go to and be cared for,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, then asked, “what about the thousands of people who don’t?”
Hurricane Maria damaged 90 percent of Puerto Rico’s 1.3 million residences and left nearly 3,000 people dead.