Climate change alarmists were not at all impressed by JetBlue’s flyover tribute to honor first responders in New York City Thursday. The lawmaker responsible for the Green New Deal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, posted a tweet conflating the airline’s gesture of gratitude to that of a big corporation callously polluting air quality and endangering the lives of local residents.
JetBlue did a nice thing so the corporation must be punished. AOC did so verbally via Twitter, attacking the flyover as a corporate publicity stunt that polluted the air. She said that vulnerable New Yorkers were dying from the respiratory virus and this just added to their suffering.
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
JetBlue aircraft were painted with FDNY, NYPD, and “I Love New York” designs. While AOC went after them from the climate change activist’s viewpoint, other residents expressed a more legit reaction, in my opinion, if some criticism was to be expressed. The jets flew low over the Hudson River and around lower Manhattan, the former site of the Twin Towers. Frankly, it freaked some people out who were unaware of what was happening. That’s understandable. Other people, though, appreciated the show.
The terror attacks still live in the minds of New Yorkers and many are now battling 9/11-related illnesses, driving some to ask why the airline would fly passenger jets so low around the five boroughs.
Blue Bravest, the FDNY-themed plane, took part in tonight's @JetBlue flyover salute to NYC's healthcare workers and first responders, circling the city with the #NYPD and I Love NY planes #ClapBecauseWeCare pic.twitter.com/hGfPdBua5z
— FDNY (@FDNY) May 7, 2020
New York Police Department Special Ops posted a video and thanks for the show of support.
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) May 8, 2020
Sure, JetBlue gets some good publicity here but it is also making other gestures in appreciation of health care workers. It is giving away 100,000 free roundtrips to health care workers. JetBlue’s headquarters are in the Brewster Building in Long Island City, New York, so it is not surprising that they choose to honor local workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity is stronger now more than ever,” the president and chief operating officer of JetBlue, Joanna Geraghty, said in a statement provided to T+L. “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.”
With their ‘Healthcare Hero’ initiative announced on Wednesday, the airline will provide 100,000 healthcare workers with roundtrip flight certificates for two to anywhere JetBlue flies — with at least 10,000 pairs of tickets being given to workers at the Mount Sinai Health system and NYC Health + Hospitals, the city’s public health system.
The remainder of the tickets — 90,000 — will be awarded through nominations. By May 15, the airline is asking its customers to nominate a medical worker by submitting a brief description of their healthcare hero on the contest’s website.
The flyover Thursday came one week after the Navy’s Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds hosted their salute to healthcare workers in New York City and several other cities on the east coast. After a quick scan of AOC’s Twitter timeline, I didn’t find any tweets criticizing them. The Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds have been doing flyovers to express gratitude to first responders and health care workers in different cities. Yesterday, the Blue Angels flew over Houston and I was able to see them outside a window in my home. It was great. Sunday, some World War II planes will fly over Houston in honor of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. They are normally housed at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. Their flyover is named “Fight to the Finish”.