Aunt counters AOC: The problems with relief aid are in Puerto Rico, not Washington

Tom Williams/Pool via AP

Man, the victimization tweets when Ocasio-Cortez sees this Daily Mail story are gonna be *kisses fingers* next-level. “How dare a reporter invade the privacy of my family at our ancestral” etc etc.

They didn’t publish a photo of her aunt or even print her name, which she declined to give. Although they did post a photo of her grandmother’s home.

Then again, AOC posting photos of her grandmother’s home is how this whole mess started.

Read this post for background. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out pictures of the still-unrepaired damage to her grandmother’s house from Hurricane Maria. Disaster relief “hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR,” she noted — but then went on to say that it’s not all the Trump administration’s fault, laying some blame on the federal Fiscal Control Board and “local policies.” The Daily Mail sent a reporter to her grandmother’s home to ask if she agrees with that. Then:

DailyMail.com tracked down 81-year-old Clotilde’s home to a quiet community just outside the picturesque coastal city of Arecibo – located 40 miles west from capital San Juan – on the island’s beautiful north coast.

And when we politely approached the two-story flat-roofed residence, we were met by a woman who told us emphatically after viewing AOC’s tweets: ‘I am her aunt. We don’t speak for the community.’…

Her aunt said: ‘In this area people need a lot of help. Many people have needed it for the past four years and haven’t had anything.’

Yet she did not pin that on Trump, adding: ‘It’s a problem here in Puerto Rico with the administration and the distribution of help. It is not a problem with Washington. We had the assistance and it didn’t get to the people.’

A local planning director echoed the point, telling the Mail that the relief money is there. It’s the process, which requires homeowners to provide proof of ownership that they might not have, that slows down the aid. I assume that’s what Ocasio-Cortez meant by “difficult eligibility rules,” for which she blamed the Trump administration.

At least one neighbor sided with AOC in believing that the feds need to do more:

Marcelina Ramos, 81, who lives 200 yards from AOC’s gran in the same street, fought to get $4,000 for rebuilding after Maria tore into her roof and flooded her home…

‘FEMA gave me money, but it wasn’t enough to fix this place. I just had to take what they offered to try to make it habitable.

‘Others in this street just gave up. Their houses were destroyed and they couldn’t fix them. We hear they plan to come back some day, but who knows. Many just left the island and went to Miami.’

Marcelina, who is helped by son Elier, 53, added: ‘We agree with what AOC is saying. There still isn’t enough help.’

A huge missed opportunity: The reporter never asked the aunt or anyone else, it seems, if they’d accept the $104,000 that conservatives led by Matt Walsh raised for grandma. Maybe Walsh and Ben Shapiro should fly down there on a mission of mercy to make the appeal in the neighborhood. If AOC’s not going to sell her Tesla to help fund the reconstruction, someone has to do it.