The fiery Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has blamed JetBlue for a “corporate PR campaign” meant to honor healthcare workers and first responders in New York City.
JetBlue conducted a “Flyover Salute” over the five boroughs of New York City last night, a move that simultaneously brought delight and scorn.
Utilizing its three New York-themed aircraft, JetBlue flew from JFK over Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and then back to JFK at a lower altitude. The flights took place at 7:00PM, coinciding with the “evening healthcare clap” that brings New Yorkers out to their balconies and windows to salute healthcare responders.
“JetBlue will take the Clap Because We Care movement to new heights by flying its three New York-themed liveries at a low altitude over the Big Apple during the evening clap. The aircraft, I Heart Blue York, co-branded in partnership with Empire State Development with the I LOVE NY; Blue Finest, dedicated to the New York Police Department; and Blue Bravest, honoring the Fire Department of New York, will make an appearance over New York City between 7-8 p.m.”
You can watch a video of the fly over below:
AOC Not Amused
Not everyone, however, was amused by JetBlue’s tribute. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took the opportunity to tear into JetBlue on Twitter:
Other best ways to thank our healthcare and frontline workers is to support PPE production, fully funding our healthcare system, produce mass testing and contact tracing, and forgive student loan debt which is especially crushing in medical fields
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 7, 2020
Others claimed it scared people, reminding them of the 9/11 attacks.
My own point of view is that this was a beautiful gesture on the part of JetBlue meant to honor brave workers in New York and did not cost JetBlue a penny due to the donations that paid for it.
Should JetBlue have just used the time, money, and effort to donate personal protective equipment instead? The two are not mutually exclusive: JetBlue has done quite a bit for the community a well.
To-date, JetBlue has flown more than 1,400 medical professionals to New York City and other destinations to help in relief efforts. Additionally, the airline has donated one million TrueBlue points to transport Red Cross personnel and disaster relief volunteers, along with 7,500 books and online educational resources to kids in need.
Recently, JetBlue worked with Mercury Medical to fly 2,400lbs of cargo containing 2,500 disposable CPAP devices to New York State, in addition to the Ricky Martin Foundation, Project Hope and Charity Stars to fly critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to Puerto Rico for distribution in dozens of hospitals.
The airline has also donated cots, blankets and Mint amenity kits to Mount Sinai hospitals throughout New York to help keep their medical professionals rested in between shifts. JetBlue’s crewmembers are also paying it forward, coordinating donations of snacks to hospitals in Broward and Palm Beach counties and local food banks.
Whenever there are flyovers during the Rose Parade each New Year’s Day (nearby by home), I get goosebumps. The Concorde flyover in 2002 for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee makes me cry to watch. I’d imagine, after more than two months of social distancing, this gesture by JetBlue coupled with simultaneous clapping and cheers from millions in New York City would also have brought a tear to my eye.
JetBlue did a nice thing for the people of New York. To those who are complaining about it, I have only one thing to say:
Appreciate the effort to show support #jetblue. The haters, as usual, gonna hate.
— Ephew (@Ephew3) May 7, 2020
Were you impressed or annoyed by the JetBlue flyover?
> Read More: How JetBlue Paid Tribute To Fallen Crew Members