Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended herself after Sen. Rand Paul criticized her and other lawmakers for getting the coronavirus vaccine early.
The social media run-in took place on Twitter Monday afternoon, when Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted that it was “inappropriate” for younger, healthy people to be inoculated.
“I was asked about getting vaccinated with others in Congress: It is inappropriate for me — who has already gotten the virus/has immunity — to get in front of elderly/healthcare workers. Same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. They should be among last, not first,” the Kentucky senator wrote, referencing the progressive congresswoman by name but not tagging her famous account.
Still, the New York Democrat had seen the tweet within 20 minutes, writing back two messages in short order.
“Gee, maybe if the GOP hadn’t spent so much time undermining public faith in science, masks, & COVID itself, I wouldn’t have to weigh the potential misinfo [sic] consequences” of not taking the shot, “if leaders urged [people] to take a new vaccine that we weren’t taking ourselves!” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the first post, going on to tell him to “@ me next time,” a phrase used to tell someone to tag them when discussing them.
“Our job is to make sure the vaccine isn’t politicized the way masks were politicized,” she continued. “If you actually listened to your constituents, you’d hear a LOT about viral claims about repro [sic] health.”
AOC went on to argue that people had questions about the newly approved vaccines, adding that she believed leaders should “show we won’t ask others to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves.”
Ocasio-Cortez recorded herself on Instagram getting the vaccine on Capitol Hill on Friday, encouraging her millions of followers to ask questions, which she went on to answer dozens of her in story.
She was one of scores of congressional lawmakers that took to social media to broadcast themselves being jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine as part of a “continuity of governance” plan.
The plan allows them early access to the vaccine because their health is considered vital to the federal government operating and for national security purposes.
Paul, along with Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) all come out this week and said they would refuse the vaccine until all front-line health care workers and seniors have been inoculated.