Democratic House of Representatives candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday slammed President Donald Trump’s tweets that claimed 3,000 people “did not die” in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, pointing to her own grandfather’s death in the aftermath of the storm.
Trump on Thursday rejected a recent government-funded study that concluded 2,975 people died on the island following the storm.
“My own grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories. They have lost children, friends, & family members.”
This is not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has referenced her grandfather’s death publicly. Last November, she tweeted, that her grandfather “died in PR along with over 900 others. The US government will not recognize the lives lost.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who won a stunning victory over longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic Party congressional primary in June, also called on Trump to embrace a so-called Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico and stop “finger-pointing.”
In his tweets, Trump also claimed Democrats inflated the death toll to cause him political damage.
“Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy,” she said in her tweet on Thursday.
The plan, which also received the backing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would see Puerto Rico get the major of its energy needs from renewable sources within a decade.
Ocasio-Cortez’s platform calls for a “New Green Deal,” a federal plan to invest trillions in infrastructure to combat climate change. She believes Puerto Rico could be good place to test this policy.
“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost in June. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”