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How AOC Believes the Green New Deal Would Have Saved Americans From the Coronavirus

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Progressive darling Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Friday said she believes the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic wouldn't have been as bad as it has been if her vision of a Green New Deal was implemented in the United States. The comment was made during a Zoom call with actress and climate change activist Jane Fonda.

"Do you think that had there been a Green New Deal in place in January 2020, COVID-19 would have been much easier to contain and our health care system would have been much more resilient?" Fonda asked AOC.

"I absolutely think so, for a lot of reasons," the freshman congresswoman replied. "For one, if we had passed a Green New Deal by January of this year, that would mean that we had a political establishment that respects science, that is willing to mobilize and make major investments to protect the American people and, frankly, our global population."

According to Ocasio-Cortez, having "universal health care" embedded into the Green New Deal's "values," Americans would have been better off.

"With those mechanisms in place, then I do believe we would have been better off. We would have respected the science early, we would have listened to scientists, we would have generated policy and enacted policy that is based on science and not politicizing how manly you are if you don't wear a mask. We would be quick and responsive and unafraid,” she explained. “At the beginning when we had a shortage on PPE, we didn’t have to have that shortage ... we could’ve used — literally the Defense Production Act is designed for the government to mass mobilize industries to produce for the security of the American public. And for the safety of the American public.”

Even if a Green New Deal was implemented, it wouldn't have changed much, if anything. For one, we knew nothing about this virus early on. China and the World Health Organization lied about this virus. Remember when they told us the virus couldn't be transmitted from human-to-human? Or when China prevented scientists from going into Wuhan to figure out what the virus was? Remember when we found out Taiwan tried blowing the whistle on what was taking place but were ignored?

AOC mentioned the Defense Production Act, but President Trump utilized that multiple times. He worked with a number of businesses to get them to produce PPE for frontline health care workers. GM, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, eRoyal Philips, and Vyaire Medical were all ordered to switch production to making ventilators. On the other hand, 3M was told to make N95 masks. Trump also signed an executive order preventing people from hoarding necessary supplies. 

The private sector worked hand-in-hand with the Trump administration to address shortages and ramp up production. How would a Green New Deal have changed that?

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