Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Friday she believes the coronavirus pandemic would not have been as bad in the U.S. if her Green New Deal ideas had been in place ahead of it reaching America.
What are the details?
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez joined climate change activist and actress Jane Fonda for a Zoom interview apparently backed by Greenpeace, as part of Fonda’s “Fire Drill Fridays” demonstrations demanding “action to transition our economy off of fossil fuels.”
“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?” the actress asked Ocasio-Cortez.
“I absolutely think so,” the New York Democrat replied.
“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 The Hill, she added later, “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.”
“At the beginning when we had a shortage on PPE, we didn’t have to have that shortage,” Ocasio-Cortez said, arguing that “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.”
You can watch the discussion in its entirety below. Fonda’s question about COVID-19 is at the 25:30 mark:
Fonda acknowledges during her introduction in the segment that “the Green New Deal is not a policy document; it’s a 14-page resolution laying out a vision for a ten-year mobilization to save the planet,” noting that she herself was skeptical at first over the fact that the vague plan also includes sweeping social justice initiatives.
Experts have guessed that if implemented, the Green New Deal could cost as much as $93 trillion over a decade. Fonda did not state the estimated price tag, but urged her viewers to “imagine a government that was willing to mobilize trillions of dollars, putting people back to work in good union jobs, building a resilient green economy.”