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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Friday cited the coronavirus crisis in renewing calls for sweeping political changes, demanding the Medicare eligibility age be reduced to zero while also saying that coronavirus relief should be viewed through a “lens of reparations.”
“COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities. Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions,” she tweeted.
“Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations,” she added.
She did not specify what that would mean in terms of a response, but made clear that she sees the impact of the virus on minority communities as a symptom of systemic racism in various forms -- a problem she has repeatedly sought to bring attention to since coming to Congress in 2019.
Last year, she called for the Democratic Party to begin "examining and pursuing an agenda of reparations" to black Americans for slavery.
Meanwhile, she used the crisis to essentially renew calls for “Medicare-for-all” -- another left-wing item that she and fellow members of the “Squad” have made a cornerstone of their platform. It is also a key part of the platform of AOC-backed Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.
Responding to a report that 30 million Americans could lose their private health insurance in the coming months because of the crisis, she tweeted: “We need to drop the Medicare eligibility age to 0 right now.”
That tweet comes a day after she tweeted in a response to a question about how Medicaid’s budgets would be able to cope with the crisis by saying: “They can’t. We need Medicare for All.”