Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Flyover To Honor Frontline Workers Over 'Air Pollution' Concerns


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized JetBlue’s New York flyover tribute to health care workers and first responders because of “air pollution” concerns.

Three JetBlue aircraft — painted in honor of the Fire Department of New York, the New York Police Department and New York’s residents — flew over the city at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

“Nothing like a corporate PR campaign that burns jet fuel at low altitudes over vulnerable communities dying from a respiratory virus that compounds on our preexisting and disproportionate exposure to air pollution to show healthcare workers we care,” the New York Democrat tweeted.

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The flyover took place a week after the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds performed flyovers above New York City to salute doctors, nurses and other essential workers.

“JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity is stronger now more than ever,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer, said, according to WABC-TV.

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“We applaud the healthcare workers who are helping us get through this challenging time and inspiring humanity along the way. This is an opportunity for us to fly it forward and show our appreciation for the heroic efforts of medical professionals, first responders and public servants — not just here in our home of New York but around the country as well.”

Many people criticized Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Twitter, with one even telling her to “find something useful to complain about.”

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Reactions to the flyover as a whole were mixed, with some people praising the airliner and others saying the flight path was too reminiscent of 9/11.

JetBlue is also directly showing its support for health care workers by donating pairs of roundtrip flight certificates for 10,000 workers, WABC reported.

Additionally, customers can nominate a “JetBlue Healthcare Hero” for a chance to receive a roundtrip flight for two.

About 23,000 JetBlue crew members have also been provided roundtrip flight certificates to give to health care heroes of their own.

New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States with over 178,000 cases as of Friday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith