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Ocasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money: Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure, but Democratic leaders hold out for more Democrats seek to calm nervous left McConnell slams Biden for already 'caving' to left on infrastructure deal MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that having a Green New Deal would have helped the U.S. through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked by actor and activist Jane Fonda on Friday whether she believed that having a Green New Deal would have made the coronavirus easier to contain and the country’s health care system more resilient, the lawmaker responded “I absolutely think so.”

“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said. 

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“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,” she added later. “At the beginning when we had a shortage on PPE, we didn’t have to have that shortage ... 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.”

The conversation between the lawmaker and actor was held as part of Fonda’s Fire Drill Fridays in which she raises awareness about climate change. 

Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure deal | DOJ backs Trump-era approval of Line 3 permit | Biden hits China on solar panels Bipartisan agriculture climate bill clears Senate Democrats hear calls to nix recess MORE (D-Mass.) introduced a congressional Green New Deal Resolution last year, which has since become a political lightning rod. 

Among the resolution’s goals are achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through mechanisms like transitioning to clean energy in various sectors of the economy.

Its other goals include creating high wage jobs, investing in infrastructure and making sure that people have clean air and water. 

Progressive Democrats have rallied around the resolution while Republicans have sought to use it as a political cudgel. 

President TrumpDonald Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE frequently uses the Green New Deal to go after rival Joe BidenJoe Biden Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll US to give Afghanistan 3M doses of J&J vaccine MORE, who has declined to explicitly endorse it, but whose website calls it a “crucial framework.”