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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek January 18, 2022

No, this video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t filmed ‘days before’ her positive COVID-19 test

If Your Time is short

  • On Jan. 9, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • The video of her pouring a line of shots was filmed in October 2021.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., announced Jan. 9 that she tested positive for COVID-19, prompting social media users to speculate about how she could have contracted the virus.

One TikTok user shared a clip of the congresswoman behind a bar, maskless, pouring liquor into a long row of shot glasses. "AOC days before testing positive," reads the text overlaid on the video.

TikTok identified this video as part of its efforts to counter inauthentic, misleading or false content. (Read more about PolitiFact's partnership with TikTok.)

Though some conservative critics did take aim at Ocasio-Cortez for being seen outdoors Jan. 2 without a mask at a large Miami gathering, the video in this claim predates the time period in which the congresswoman might have contracted the virus.

It was filmed in October 2021 at Jack Rabbit, a restaurant in Buffalo, New York. According to news reports, Ocasio-Cortez visited the city in October to support mayoral candidate India Walton.

At the restaurant, Ocasio-Cortez pulled her hair back and revisited her bartending roots, pouring shots while some onlookers chanted, "A-O-C! A-O-C!" 

Featured Fact-check

Jack Rabbit shared a video of the moment on its Instagram page on Oct. 24, 2021.

At the time, some critics took issue with Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to be inside a bar without wearing a mask, months after she said she planned to continue wearing masks in shared public spaces indoors.

Although the restaurant’s video was filmed at an angle different from the video shared on TikTok, both appear to capture the same moment.

Our ruling

A TikTok post claimed to show Ocasio-Cortez pouring shots for a group of people "days before testing positive" for COVID-19. 

She contracted COVID-19 in January 2022, but the video is from Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to a Buffalo restaurant in October 2021.

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

TikTok post, accessed Jan. 18, 2022

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram post, Jan. 15, 2022

Miami Herald, AOC gets slammed (again) for partying maskless at this drag brunch in Miami, Jan. 4, 2022 

Jack Rabbit’s Instagram post, Oct. 24, 2021

Jack Rabbit’s Facebook page, accessed Jan. 18, 2022

CBS News, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tests positive for COVID-19," Jan. 10, 2022

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter post, Jan. 9, 2022

News Thud, "AOC Parties Maskless At Bar In Buffalo," Oct. 26, 2022

ABC News, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez goes back to work as bartender – for a day," June 1, 2019

Fox News, "AOC says she's going to keep wearing a face mask despite being fully vaccinated," May. 15, 2021

The Buffalo News, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Walton supporters: 'Buffalo is making waves,'" Oct. 23, 2021

WIVB, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and India Walton sit down with News 4," Oct. 22, 2021

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No, this video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t filmed ‘days before’ her positive COVID-19 test

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