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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., condemned the use of three JetBlue aircraft that flew over New York City Thursday as a tribute to the medical community and first responders working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
JetBlue used three planes donned with New York City themes for a one-hour flyover over all five boroughs. The planes -- "I love NY," NYPD and FDNY -- were a tribute to first responders and "hometown health care heroes," the airline said.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Responses to the flyover were varied on Twitter. While some social media engagers appreciated the gesture, others had a negative reaction to the nature of the salute.
One user suggested the flyover might traumatize 9/11 survivors and waste bailout money.
"Let's fly some commercial jets low over Manhattan," the user wrote. "My notes only go back to Sept. 12, 2001 so I assume this is a great idea!"
The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds performed flyovers over New York City last week, and they are headed to Texas and Louisiana next.
New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., with over 178,000 cases and nearly 17,000 deaths.