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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Announces Partnership with JetBlue and United Airlines to Fly Healthcare Workers to New York City for Free

Mayor de Blasio Facebook Page Screenshot

NEW YORK—To strengthen our fight against COVID-19, Mayor de Blasio on Friday announced partnerships with JetBlue and United Airlines to provide free round-trip flights for medical volunteers traveling to New York City. As we face an unprecedented strain on our healthcare system, the Mayor is asking all healthcare workers to join New Yorkers on the frontlines in the battle against this virus. Mayor de Blasio yesterday called on the federal government to institute an essential draft of all private medical personnel.

“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and right now they need reinforcements to save as many lives as they can. I am calling on medical professionals from across the country to come to New York City and help us win this fight. This invaluable partnership with JetBlue and United Airlines will ensure we can provide transportation to these fearless warriors at no additional cost,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"Our nation's healthcare workers are on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, providing lifesaving support to our family members, neighbors and friends," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "We are deeply grateful for their courage and service, and we thank our generous partners for their support during this challenging time."

“As New York’s hometown airline, we are honored to be able to help right in our own backyard. We are honored to provide critical travel needs for medical professionals and first responders,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “The work of first responders is tireless, and the hours long. For those volunteering to help in areas of need, the last thing they need to worry about is how they will get here to answer the call. We applaud the healthcare workers who are helping us get through this challenging time and inspiring humanity along the way.”

“We are profoundly grateful for the extraordinarily talented and selfless individuals who are working around the clock and have an unwavering commitment to support our communities and medical providers at this time of exceptional need,” said Jill Kaplan, President, New York / New Jersey for United Airlines. “It is our hope that providing air travel at no cost will allow additional dedicated volunteers and first responders the ability to reach the Tri-State area, that has been hit hardest by COVID-19.” 

"The New Yorkers working on the frontlines of COVID-19 have been and continue to be incredibly brave and tireless in their efforts," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. "To know that there are health care heroes across the country who are willing to lend their support, and that United and JetBlue stand ready to fly them here, is wonderfully heartening. The Mayor's Fund is deeply grateful for our trusted partners in the business community during these trying times."

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and New York City Emergency Management will work closely with JetBlue, United Airlines, and other carriers to coordinate travel for medical professionals who are selected to provide their services in the City’s time of exceptional need. Medical professionals who want to step up to volunteer should register here.

JetBlue has already started transporting medical professionals, and has flown more than 50 in to New York City. These numbers will continue to increase in the coming weeks as medical professionals receive their New York City work assignments. JetBlue is headquartered in Queens and has always stepped up to help the City in times of need. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, JetBlue served more than 25,000 meals to New Yorkers and donated nearly $1 million to recovery efforts.

Business, individuals, governments, and philanthropies have rallied around New York City to provide support. The City thanks:

Facebook for 25,000 masks and 48,000 pairs of gloves

Missions of Qatar for 60,000 surgical masks

Natixis for 70,000 respirators and masks

Municipality of Shanghai for 20,000 masks

The Met for 33,000 gloves, 350 N95s, protective suits, and booties

Rudin Management for 10,000 pairs of gloves

New York Road Runners for 20,000 pairs of gloves

“A Million Masks” for 1,000 N95 masks

Ford for 50,000 face shields

American Express for 36,000 N95 masks

Louis Vuitton for 21,000 N95 masks

Discovery for airing PSAs about the City’s free grab and go meals

Uber for $750,000 in free rides for health care workers and first responders

UberEATS for $250,000 in food codes on the UberEATS app for healthcare workers and firefighters

JetBlue for free flights for critical medical workers who volunteered to serve in New York City

United for free flights for critical medical workers who volunteered to serve in New York City

Goldman Sachs for their donation to the Fund for Public Schools

Rihanna and the Clara Lionel Foundation for their donation to the Fund for Public Schools

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