Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Describes Near-Death Encounter During Mayhem At U.S. Capitol
AOC said it was not only many members of Congress who almost died in the chaos, but also their children.
January 13, 2021 at 2:22 pm
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) described the harrowing details of last week's attack at the U.S. Capitol, which put the congresswoman and her colleagues in grave danger, on Instagram Live Tuesday. While she didn't disclose full details because of security concerns, she said she had a close encounter when supporters of President Donald Trump carried out the attack.
"Wednesday was an extremely traumatizing event," she said. "And it was not an exaggeration to say that many members of the House were nearly assassinated."
AOC described the incident as an act of insurrection assisted by members of Congress. As a result of her suspicions about some of her colleagues, the 31-year-old didn't want to shelter in the safe room with other members of Congress, who could have disclosed her location to rioters.
"There were QAnon and white-supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white-supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera,” the lawmaker said.
Noting one encounter in particular amid the chaos, Ocasio-Cortez said she thought that she was going to die.
"I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me," she said without revealing the full details. "You have all of those thoughts at the end of your life and all of those thoughts come rushing to you. That's what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday. I didn't know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. Not just in a general sense, but also in a very specific sense."
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) expressed similar sentiments in a Facebook Live video, saying her colleagues had helped protesters perform “reconnaissance” by giving them Capitol tours the day before the riots, according to The Washington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has been known to express her disapproval of Trump without holding back, said the president incited the violence with ongoing lies about the 2020 presidential election.
"There's no other way to put it," she said. "You attack our democracy, you undermine the election of one of the most revered democracies in the world."
In the aftermath of the violence, Ocasio-Cortez is using the incident as an opportunity to shed light on the treatment of trauma.
"There have been a lot of counselors and there have been physicians in the House talking about the importance of some of the rapid response that happens and what we can do in our minds and our brains after you're exposed to a traumatic event," the Squad member said.
She also advised her viewers to get treatment if they feel traumatized after watching images of the violence.
"You don't have to have been there," she said. "You could have just seen it on TV, you could have just heard about it. But if you at all feel unsettled in a deep way that you're intuition is kind of telling you that something is not right, go check in with somebody. There's no shame in that."
Ocasio-Cortez said it was not only many members of Congress who almost died in the chaos, but also their children who were in the building on that day.
Some officials at the Capitol are suspected of aiding the mob, as Blavity previously reported. Widely shared videos on social media showed some of the officers taking selfies with the attackers and others appearing to willingly open the gates to the Capitol.
"To run in the Capitol and not know if an officer is there to help you or to harm you is also quite traumatizing," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes that allowed members to escape the House floor unharmed," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Many of us merely and narrowly escaped death."