Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed ongoing coronavirus-linked shutdowns on Republicans who don’t don masks despite several Democratic leaders having been caught in recent weeks violating their own mask mandates in public.
The self-described democratic socialist from New York made the accusation during a Friday evening “Cooking Q&A” on social media with her followers, a venue she often uses to vent which has upset members in both parties, Fox News reported.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments came as many Republicans have continued to insist that states should allow businesses to remain open using COVID-19 mitigation guidelines even in regions of the country where positive cases of the virus are spiking.
“Here’s what’s ironic to me, all these Republicans, all these people who were anti-shut down, were the same people who weren’t wearing masks, who forced us to shut down in the first place,” she said. “Shutdowns are not an inevitability, it’s not something that we want to do. It’s not something that anybody wants to do.”
While ticking off several talking points most Americans can relate to, she nevertheless pointed her finger of blame at Republicans who have voiced frustrations over new lockdowns, particularly in states like California, telling people “you better have been wearing a mask all damn year” if they’re going to complain about the closures.
“Nobody wants a shutdown, but the same people who are now anti-shutdown…were the same people who weren’t wearing masks — who forced caseloads to be so high that we had to shut down areas to begin with,” she said.
“So if you’re anti-shutdown, you better have been wearing a mask all damn year, because don’t come to me and say you’re anti-shutdown when you’re spreading COVID all over the place, potentially,” she added.
The New York Democrat’s admonishment to Republican non-mask wearers conflicts with the findings of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released in October which said the vast majority of people testing positive for the virus frequently wore masks.
According to the study, which was conducted by 11 medical institutions, more than 70 percent of a group of 154 “case-patients” who “always” wore a mask wound up contracting the illness anyway.
“In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public,” said the report.
The same patients also followed CDC guidelines by always wearing a face covering at gatherings of 10 or more persons in a home; shopping; dining out; working in an office setting; going to salons, bars, or gyms; attending religious gatherings; and taking public transportation.
In addition, her GOP criticism comes on the heels of several Democratic leaders who have been caught, mask-less, in public, in violation of their own mandates.
In fact, so many Democrats have been caught violating their rules that they earned a rebuke from reliably liberal CNN host Brianna Keilar earlier this month on her show.
“A number of Democratic leaders apologizing or reversing course after multiple occurrences of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ They have been caught not following their own coronavirus guidelines,” she began as she then revealed a lengthy list of violators including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
“The past few weeks brought into relief a pattern of leaders failing to lead by example, asking Americans to make sacrifices that they themselves are unwilling to make and appearing sorry only when they are caught,” Keilar said.
“A lot of these leaders, they are looking across the aisle to blame Republicans who aren’t taking mask-wearing seriously,” she concluded. “But maybe it’s time they also look in the mirror and ask themselves if that amuse-bouche was really worth it.”
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