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.
— FDNY (@FDNY) May 8, 2020
“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.
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 https://t.co/xyCr3tojgn
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 7, 2020
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.
“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.”
Find something useful to complain about. 🤮. I no longer respect you as a congressperson. They are doing something nice. Did you complain when the Blue Angels flew?
— Robert Huss (@RobertHuss) May 7, 2020
This was a positive gesture aimed at paying homage to frontline essential employees. JetBlue has also pledged 100,000 free flights to healthcare workers. The low 30 min fly over generates a negligible impact on the environment. Your attack seems misdirected and out of touch.
— Leo O (@LeoOlii_) May 8, 2020
It’s nurses week can you just say something nice for once???? Have you ever sacrificed the way health care workers do….or understand the pressure of someone’s Life in ur hands l? I bet not!
— eslayton (@NComuzzi) May 7, 2020
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.
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) May 8, 2020
First Responders in New York City: “I hope to god I never see anything like 9/11 again”
JetBlue: “Guys, I have an idea. You know what first responders in New York City would think is cool?”
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) May 7, 2020
Thanks to @JetBlue for joining the #ClapBecauseWeCare movement at 7pm here in NYC. The @FDNY plane flew above the Hudson on my run today. Can’t wait to be back on one of these birds in the sky again exploring. #Travel #Frequentflyer pic.twitter.com/E6TfVnWczV
— James Porter (@PorterJamesE) May 8, 2020
Minutes away from @JetBlue reenacting 9/11 to fight the coronavirus!!
— Eli Valley (@elivalley) May 7, 2020
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.
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