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AOC slams New York Governor Cuomo over reopening schools in autumn

Ms Ocasio-Cortez represents the young, progressive wing of party. Mr Cuomo is an old-school establishment Democrat

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Monday 10 August 2020 20:58 BST
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to Republican congressman calling her a ‘b***h’

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken a swipe at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over his decision to allow schools to open this fall, a rare case of Democrat-on-Democrat sparring during the pandemic.

"If it's not safe enough for indoor dining, what makes it safe enough for indoor schooling?" Ocasio-Cortez asked in a tweet. "And restaurants actually have soap in the bathrooms."

The latter statement was a swipe within a swipe, dinging the Cuomo administration for allegedly not making sure public schools allow students to be clean after using the restroom.

Mr Cuomo last week surprised many when he announced schools across the Empire State could reopen in a few weeks. New York once was the epicentre for coronavirus cases, but the governor has received high marks for policies experts said slowed its spread.

"Every region is well below our COVID infection limit; therefore, all school districts are authorised to open," he said, later adding, "If the infection rate spikes, the guidance will change accordingly."

An aide to the governor told the New York Post officials need more data before opening bars and restaurants to indoor service.

But perhaps the row is not that surprising.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez represents the young and progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Mr Cuomo is more of an old-school establishment Democrat.

In a follow-on tweet, the 30-year-old lawmaker called for an economic overhaul that appears unlikely unless Democrats take the White House, expand their House majority and somehow surpass 60 votes in the Senate. The latter is almost certainly not possible in November, however, analysts of all political stripes say.

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