June 24, 2020 / 7:42 PM / 9 days ago

Fact check: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not tweet that governors should keep businesses closed to prevent Trump’s re-election

Social media users are circulating a fabricated tweet allegedly from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.), in which she says that governors should maintain COVID-19-related business restrictions through November in order to prevent Donald Trump’s re-election. Ocasio-Cortez never tweeted this.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), stands for a portrait after voting early in the Democratic congressional primary election at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Community Center in the Bronx borough of New York City, U.S., June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

Examples of posts making this claim can be found here , here , and here .

The posts purport that Ocasio-Cortez deleted a tweet from May 20, 2020 which said, “It’s vital that Governors maintain restrictions on businesses until after the November Elections because economic recovery will help Trump be re-elected. A few business closures or job losses is a small price to pay to be free from his presidency. #KeepUsClosed.”

Reuters could not find the alleged tweet in ProPublica’s “Politwoops” archive, which tracks deleted tweets by public officials (here). Deleted Tweets from Ocasio-Cortez can be found here .

On June 23, 2020, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez addressed the fictitious tweet on Twitter (here), writing, “I usually don’t tweet to correct fake posts about me [because] the right circulates so many, but needless to say the alleged ‘deleted’ reopening tweet people are saying I wrote is a photoshopped fake being circulated by Republicans. They tell lies because the truth isn’t on their side.”

In an interview with VICE on April 22, 2020 (here), Ocasio-Cortez criticized the president’s calls to “liberate” various states from coronavirus lockdown mandates (here).

Ocasio-Cortez represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. As reported by the New York Times, her district “includes the working-class immigrant clusters of the Bronx and Queens, has had 19,200 coronavirus cases as of April 30, more than all of Manhattan, despite having almost a million fewer people.” (here)

VERDICT

False. This alleged tweet from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is fabricated.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  .  

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