What to Know
- Trump sparked controversy Thursday when he denied that 3,000 people died in the aftermath of hurricane Maria
- Democratic House of Representatives candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the message by pointing to her own grandfather’s death
- In response to Trump's tweet, the 28-year-old up-and-coming politician said: “My grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted."
President Donald Trump’s controversial Thursday tweet in which he denied that 3,000 people died in the aftermath of hurricane Maria left many flabbergasted, one of those was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who slammed the contentious message by pointing to her own grandfather’s death.
In his tweet, Trump rejected a recent government-funded study by George Washington University that concluded 2,975 people died on the island following the storm and also claimed that Democrats intentionally inflated the death toll to make him “look as bad as possible.”
The 28-year-old Democratic House of Representatives candidate replied to Trump’s tweet, with one of her own: “My grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted. Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories. They have lost children, friends, & family members.”
She ends her tweet by saying: “Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy.”
Thursday’s tweet was not the first time Ocasio-Cortez referenced her grandfather’s death. In a Nov. 9, 2017 tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said in part, “My grandfather died in PR along with 900 others. The US government will not recognize the lives lost.”
Ocasio-Cortez is an up-and-coming politician who is poised to become the youngest congresswoman in history if she wins the midterm election in November.
In a stunning win, Ocasio-Cortes defeated one of the House's most powerful Democrats in their New York City district's primary in June. The upset shocked her as much as it did the political establishment.
The Democratic socialist defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley, the No. 4 Democrat in the House who was positioning himself to lead the party after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Born in the Bronx into a Puerto Rican family, Ocasio-Cortez said she was galvanized to run by the year 2016, which she called "a year of awakening" that brought the Boston University graduate to the oil pipeline protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and Flint, Michigan, where the water system has been in crisis for years.