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Fake AOC Tweet Politicizes COVID-19 Business Restrictions

Quick Take

A fabricated tweet attributed to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez advocates extending COVID-19 restrictions on businesses “until after the November Elections.” There is no evidence Ocasio-Cortez sent the bogus tweet, which was shared — and later deleted — by a Florida congressional candidate and a Fox News host.

Full Story

A phony tweet attributed to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is circulating online.

This is just the latest bogus tweet aimed at the New York Democrat; we’ve written about two others since she took office in 2019.

The recent fake tweet is being shared as a screenshot meme on various social media platforms, including Facebook, spreading the falsehood that she posted this message about the restrictions imposed on businesses because of the COVID-19 pandemic: “It’s vital that Governors maintain restrictions on businesses until after the November Elections because economic recovery will help Trump be re-elected. A few business closures or job losses is a small price to pay to be free from his presidency. #KeepUsClosed”

But Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter account shows no such post.

Some versions of the falsehood account for that by claiming that she deleted the tweet, but ProPublica’s log of her deleted tweets also shows that she deleted no such tweet. And a screen capture of her Twitter account that day on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine doesn’t show the tweet, either.

Ocasio-Cortez’s account shows that she didn’t tweet anything on May 20, the date given in the phony tweet, but she did retweet four posts referencing her appearance that evening on ABC’s “Nightline,” where she was interviewed about the impact of COVID-19 on essential workers. Ocasio-Cortez advocated extending hazard pay for those workers.

“Two bucks an hour means the world to workers. It means nothing to Jeff Bezos,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the show, referring to the billionaire who owns Amazon. “So, why don’t we just give folks the actual wages that they deserve.”

Although Ocasio-Cortez didn’t post the tweet, Florida congressional candidate Jessi Melton and Fox News personality Mark Levin did post the bogus claim. They later deleted their tweets.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.


Fichera, Angelo. “Parody Ocasio-Cortez Tweet Mistaken as Real.” FactCheck.org. 25 Feb 2019.

Hale Spencer, Saranac. “Phony Tweet Targets AOC.” FactCheck.org. 5 Sep 2019.

ProPublica. Politwoops. “Deleted Tweets From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.” Accessed 23 Jun 2020.

Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria. Twitter. Accessed 24 Jun 2020.

Internet Archive. Wayback Machine. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Twitter. 20 May 2020.

Nightline. Season 41, episode 100. ABC.com. 20 May 2020.

Melton, Jessi (@votejessi2020). “Since she deleted it, let’s share it for her a few hundred thousand times.” Archived from Twitter. 23 Jun 2020.

Levin, Mark (@marklevinshow). “AOC let the cat out of the bag!  The Democrats seek to destroy our economy, your jobs, and your businesses, hoping Trump will be blamed by the voters.  See below. Keep in mind, AOC speaks for Biden. She’s an official part of Biden’s campaign.” Archived from Twitter. 23 Jun 2020.