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A conservative columnist raised $104,153 on GoFundMe for the grandmother of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in Puerto Rico, but the family is refusing the help after AOC called out former President Donald Trump not doing enough to help.
After the Squad member posted on Twitter, lamenting the condition of her grandmother’s home in Puerto Rico following 2017’s Hurricane Maria, conservative Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh set up a GoFundMe page that raised $104,153, only to be told the family is refusing the donation.
Walsh tweeted Saturday:
“UPDATE: ‘someone’ in AOC’s abuela’s family told GoFundMe that she will not take the money, even though AOC previously claimed that her grandma was in dire straits (and it was Trump’s fault). @AOC still hasn’t acknowledged this effort or thanked us.”
“We are in touch with the beneficiary’s family, and they have made clear they will not be accepting the funds,” the online crowdfunding site wrote in an email to Walsh.
The site told Walsh in the email the donations would be refunded to those that contributed.
AOC posted June 2 she had visited her grandmother in Puerto Rico, or abuela in Spanish, after she fell ill and that relief money for her grandmother’s home had not yet arrived, blaming the administration of former President Donald Trump for blocking the aid.
“People are being forced to flee ancestral homes and developers are taking them,” she tweeted with photos of her grandmother’s home with buckets on the floor collecting water from a leaking roof.
Hurricane Maria slammed into the Island of Puerto Rico as a strong category 4 storm in September 2017, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm devastated homes, caused landslides, and downed trees, cutting many people off from their towns, according to a 2019 NPR report.
The congresswoman said Trump’s handling of relief money for the storm was a “major role” of the problem, but also acknowledged local corruption.
“La Junta, local policies, etc. were all on the same page: policies that pushed out local families. To turn this around, we need audits and get recovery relief to people ASAP, without the onerous strings.”
Walsh and others on social media were quick to point out AOC earns around $174,000-a-year as a member of Congress, has recently purchased a pricy Tesla for around $70,000, and should be the one to help her grandmother out financially.
AOC pushed back on Walsh, saying he had “no idea” what it meant to be a “first generation” female family member in that culture.
She added in a tweet:
“And for the record – my abuela is doing okay. It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Ricans across the island. She had a place to go to and be cared for – what about the thousands of people who do not?”