Ocasio-Cortez: ‘We Lost Over One 9/11’s Worth of People’ Due to Lack of Federal Action on Coronavirus

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) urged her colleagues on Capitol Hill to be more aggressive with the legislative process in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ocasio-Cortez complained about what she maintained were inadequacies in the bill and likened the death toll to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in terms of the number of lives shed due to the pandemic.

“[T]his small bill, while something may be better than nothing — it is happening in the context of Congress having gone on recess for a month,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We are going to pass a small-potatoes bill, and then we are talking about recessing again until May 4. And if we are going to bring every member or call back almost every member who can back to D.C. to pass a small incremental bill with the knowledge that we are not coming back until next month again, that’s two rent checks. And the last time we left, again, we lost over one 9/11’s worth of people due to this lack of action. And so we really need to acknowledge that this small bill — again, while something is better than nothing, and frankly, Democrats fought very, very hard to get basic things like testing. Republicans didn’t want to fund hospitals.  They didn’t want to fund mass testing, which is what is going to allow us to reopen the economy.”

“I appreciate the stride that they made in that but ultimately in voting on the text of this bill knowing that we are abdicating our responsibility,” she continued. “We haven’t legislated for a month, and thousands of people are dying. Thousands of people are dying every day, and we’re talking about going back. And every time we pass one of these bills, we’re hearing the real solution is coming in the next bill, and the next bill and the next bill. At some point, we have to raise our hands and say, ‘When is the solution coming?’ Because two months of rent are going to pass by before we are entertaining a real bill. We’re talking about the scope of mass displacement in the United States of America.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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