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Politifact: No, AOC didn’t tweet about closing businesses until after the election

A fake tweet surfaced on Facebook claiming to be written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about keeping businesses closed until November.

*This story is reported by Ciara O'Rourke for Politifact.

Claim: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “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.”

If your time is short:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t tweet this. 

Conspiracy theories that the coronavirus pandemic is a Democratic hoax to oust President Donald Trump would be more credible if they had evidence to support them. But this supposed tweet from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is not a smoking gun. Because she didn’t actually tweet it. 

It looks like she did, though, in an image being shared on Facebook. "She deleted it but not before it was shared over 20,000 times," reads a description of the tweet. 

The tweet itself says: "It’s vital that Governors (sic) 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." The post in the image is dated May 20, 2020.

The Facebook post sharing the image was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We found no evidence that Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this. 

ProPublica, which keeps an archive of deleted tweets, does not have it in its collection of deleted tweets from either of Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter accounts. We also didn’t find the tweet searching those accounts on Twitter. 

Lastly, we couldn’t find any news coverage corroborating this Facebook post — which, again, was allegedly from May. Ocasio-Cortez is a highly scrutinized elected official and if she said something as inflammatory as what appears in the post, it would have been widely reported.If you Google the quote, the top hit is a Snopes fact-check saying the quote is fabricated. Because it is.

We rate this post Pants on Fire. 

Our Sources

Facebook post, June 23, 2020

ProPublica, Deleted tweets from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, deleted tweets since Dec. 6, 2017

@RepAOC account, visited June 23, 2020

@AOC account, visited June 23, 2020