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Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told the New York Times in an interview out Sunday that "it was very clear" to her and her allies that their help "was not wanted or asked for" in Virginia's gubernatorial elections earlier this month.

Driving the news: "Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list," the New York lawmaker said. "And then they turn around and say, 'It’s their fault.' When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in."

  • Ocasio-Cortez suggested that some in the party consider progressives "a uniform liability — and not something that can be selectively deployed, or consulted, or anything — I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake."

Wha she's saying:

"Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine. I’m not here to tell people how to run their races. But at the same time, to consider the members here that have some of the tightest relationships to our political base as just a uniform liability — and not something that can be selectively deployed, or consulted, or anything — I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake."
— Ocasio-Cortez to the New York Times

Why it matters: Democrats have debated the factors that led to the Republican Party's sweep in Virginia, where GOP candidates won all three statewide positions up for grabs in 2021.

  • Some have blamed the losses on the perception that progressives are pulling the party too far left, Axios' Margaret Talev writes.

Worth noting: Ocasio-Cortez called for Senate Democrats to support the version President Biden's social spending bill that passed the House, and includes a host of measures that progressives support.

  • Passing the bill would give representatives "a shot to go back to our communities and say we delivered," Ocasio-Cortez said. She added: "[W]hat really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don’t keep."

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.