Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she had contracted Covid-19 in an Instagram post on Saturday, explaining that she has experienced debilitating symptoms even given the added protection provided by her vaccine.
In the post she shared similar frustrations to many Americans, especially progressives, since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shifted its guidance to encourage those infected with Covid to return to work less than a week after first testing positive. The congresswoman’s office stated that she received two doses of the vaccine previously, and also received her booster late last year.
The New Yorker noted that supposedly “mild” symptoms were a misnomer, and described the idea of asking someone to return to work five days after initially testing positive as “sociopathic”, and uncaring towards sick people.
“Welp, so it happened. Got COVID, probably omicron. As of today I am thankfully recovered and wrapping up quarantine, but COVID was no joke,” she told her 8.6 million followers.
“Even ‘mild’ cases can result in long COVID, which includes a range of conditions like cognitive impairment, POTS, & chronic fatigue. This isn’t to be a downer or induce fear, just a reminder that we need to be careful,” she continued, before taking aim at the CDC guidelines.
“The idea of forcing people to work just 5 days after symptoms start is sociopathic and 100% informed by a culture that accepts sacrificing human lives for profit margins as a fair trade.”
Her remarks come after she was pilloried by conservatives for taking a vacation in Florida while the House was out of session for the holiday season. Many sought to gin up similar anger that Republican Senator Ted Cruz faced when he flew to Mexico last February while millions in his home state of Texas lost power and heat during a deadly winter storm.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also attracted ire over photos that showed her talking and maskless with her boyfriend in an outdoor seating section at a restaurant in Florida. Her critics have falsely implied that she flouted her own state’s Covid-19 guidelines while on vacation, though there are no rules requiring persons to be masked when sitting at a restaurant outside in New York state.
An article in the right-leaning New York Post sought to capitalise on both supposed controversies, with its columnists cheering on the criticism: “If people on the left thought masks and vax passports were important for safety, none of them would visit Florida.”
The second-term congresswoman sees frequent attacks from the right due to her outspoken progressive views. She is one of the furthest left members of the House, and along with other members of the progressive “Squad”, has clashed publicly with former President Donald Trump as well as leaders in her own party, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Her progressive leanings were evident in her Instagram post, where the New York representative declared that America’s “go-it-alone” attitude was insufficient to deal with global catastrophes like pandemics.
“Individualism is inadequate for planetary forces like climate change or global pandemics, no less societal ones like healthcare, economic inequity and racism. But WE, as a collective, can confront them. In a world of MEs, let’s build team WE,” she concluded.