Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Went After Big Pharma for Getting Rich off Anti-HIV Drugs. A Republican Began to Cry.

What costs $8 a month in Australia costs almost $2,000 a month in the United States.

Tom Williams / ZUMA

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a knack for getting under conservatives’ skin. She happens to also be able to make them cry.

At a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez asked Daniel O’Day, chairman and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Gilead, why an HIV prevention drug costs nearly $2,000 a month in the United States but only $8 in Australia. Gilead said that the drug is still under patent protection in the US, but Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the patent for the drug is owned by the public.

Ocasio-Cortez’s questions caused former Ted Cruz staffer Chip Roy, a Republican representative from Texas, to get visibly upset. Speaking about a medicine that he took to cure his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Roy said private pharmaceutical companies deserve the profits they earn.

“To sit here and attack the capitalistic system that produces and distributes medicine to saving lives around the world, I mean, it is just offensive,” Roy said. Addressing Gilead, he added, “I hope you make a lot of money!”

Watch Ocasio-Cortez’s questioning and Roy’s statements below.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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