The photo: The images, which were taken last month and widely disseminated online this week, captured Ocasio-Cortez kneeling on the street to play with the child in Queens, a New York City borough that falls partly in her congressional district.
Ocasio-Cortez has been a vocal proponent of mask-wearing as a CDC-recommended means of preventing transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Congresswoman AOC removed her mask to blow bubbles (germs/ particles) into a child’s face in Queens. 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/GKNN1TSDmV— Mia ⭐️ (@missmiafaith) July 7, 2020
- In April, she slammed Vice President Mike Pence for not wearing a mask while he was visiting patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
- The first-term congresswoman also distributed masks to protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally in Queens last month.
.@AOC handing out masks in Queens protest. “Wear your masks! Let’s go!” pic.twitter.com/TiZqjMJfTF— Rozina Ali (@rozina_ali) June 2, 2020
The reaction: Some Ocasio-Cortez fans defended her gesture and claimed the soap would have neutralized any coronavirus she had exhaled toward the girl in the photos (though that reasoning ignored the blowing and the time duration thought to be required to kill the virus).
Many on the right, meanwhile, joined commentator Mia Faith in deriding what they said was Ocasio-Cortez's recklessness and stupidity.
- Some deemed the first-term congresswoman's soapy emanations “COVID bubbles.”
Others pointed to a purported disconnect between Ocasio-Cortez’s pro-mask rhetoric and her actions.
LOL. Idiot. Covid Bubbles. #AOC #SGElection https://t.co/m8IcJ79eRk— Graham Ledger (@GrahamLedger) July 7, 2020
A double standard? After seeing how opinion-makers evaluated the public health threat from Black Lives Matter protests versus from gatherings cherished by conservatives, skeptics have concluded the standards depend on whether or not you have the right political views.
A maskless AOC is blowing bubbles in this child’s face🙀 @AOC a mask for thee, but not for me😉 https://t.co/Mx0Rn12ljD— Angel Gotti (@AngelGotti5) July 8, 2020