Over New Year's weekend, the Democrat congresswoman from New York did as many New Yorkers do and came down south for some end-of-year celebrating in Miami Beach. Cortez was photographed at famed South Beach LGBTQ+ bar Palace on January 2, attending one of the venue's popular drag brunches.
Cortez's detractors derided the outspoken politician for attending the outdoor venue without a facemask amid the Omicron variant surge, accusing her of hypocrisy for supporting COVID-19 safety restrictions while seemingly flouting them for a good time.
On Sunday evening, Cortez — who is vaccinated and received a booster shot in the fall — released a statement that she'd tested positive for the coronavirus, is experiencing symptoms, and is recovering at home.
EXPOSED: AOC is STILL lounging it up in Florida, in large crowds and maskless. This time at a Drag Queen bar in Miami.— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) January 2, 2022
Rules for thee but not for me. pic.twitter.com/8l30GFA0GT
Critics and trolls immediately seized upon the opportunity to dunk on the first-term House member, including right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, who tweeted to his 3.7 million followers, "AOC only got covid because covid is obsessed with her boyfriend's feet."
Others, on the other hand, saw the news as more of a black eye on Florida for its high COVID numbers than on the lawmaker for her personal choices. "AOC avoiding COVID for nearly two years while in NYC and DC but getting it after spending like a week in Florida is…not the own conservatives think it is," opined left-tilting journalist and commentator Matt Binder.
AOC only got covid because covid is obsessed with her boyfriend's feet https://t.co/7Pd46Yt8nW— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 10, 2022
Florida, meanwhile, with its record-breaking COVID case numbers and overbooked hospitals, continues to bill itself as an open state where folks can come for fun in the sun. Heralding Ocasio-Cortez' vacay upon her arrival, Gov. Ron DeSantis' campaign account tweeted, "Welcome to Florida, AOC! We hope you're enjoying a taste of freedom here in the Sunshine State thanks to @RonDeSantisFL's leadership."
AOC avoiding COVID for nearly two years while in NYC and DC but getting it after spending like a week in Florida is…not the own conservatives think it is https://t.co/Hed8rRcOHV— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) January 10, 2022