PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds completed a flyover of the greater Philadelphia area to remind healthcare professionals that members of the military are still the only heroes America needs.
The demonstration, which occurred around 2 p.m., left Philadelphians completely underwhelmed and confused about the utility of having warplanes fly over a city battling a pandemic.
“I really forgot about the virus for the 20 seconds I saw the planes, but I spent the other 23 hours 59 minutes and 40 seconds of my day racked with fear over my health and livelihood,” said Elliot Markos, a local resident.
City officials were disappointed to see the large crowds that gathered to watch the demonstration. Many health experts expressed concern that the flyover would inadvertently lead to additional cases just as the city appeared to be slowing the spread of the virus.
“We aren’t letting kids go to school and millions of Americans are unemployed but that’s nothing a flyover can’t solve,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney sarcastically remarked.
Dr. James Moon, the head of the emergency department at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, was not able to have his morale lifted by the sound of the jets.
“I didn’t catch it,” Moon said. “I was working a double and had to place four COVID-positive patients on ventilators. But you know what would really lift my morale? Being able to hug my kids and some more masks.”
Other healthcare workers who were resting before their night shifts shared Moon’s frustration, “I was just entering my REM cycle when the jets woke me up. Now I have to work a 12-hour shift on four hours of sleep,” said John Perez, a physician assistant at the hospital.
The Department of Defense defended the flyover, which costs an estimated $120,000, by assuring the public there would be no additional cost to taxpayers. When asked if the money from each squadron’s budget could be redirected towards supplies for hospitals the Pentagon spokesperson scoffed, “That’s not how money works. You can’t just take it from people who don’t need it and give it to people who need it,” before quickly ending the interview.
Lt. j.g. Chelsea Dietlin, the Blue Angels Public Affairs Officer, clarified the motivation behind the flyover.
“Listen, we have to remind the American people who really matter in the fight against COVID-19, and that's pilots,” Dietlin said. “We’ll let healthcare workers have their moment during this ‘pandemic,’ but when this is all over people need to remember to honor those who fight in prolonged conflicts without discernible benefit to the American people.”
Another service member with knowledge of the flyover said the demonstration was planned out of concern that Top Gun 2 would not be shown in theaters, “We were all banking on Top Gun 2 making us cool again, now we are going to be replaced with ER doctors. I just hope people remember flying jets and bombing people is way cooler than saving lives.”
President Donald Trump tweeted enthusiastically about the flyover and even speculated that the noise of fighter jets would scare the virus out of COVID-19 positive patients.
“It’s great. The best scientist in the world are saying the virus fears the sound of American planes. I wanted them to drop Lysol bombs but I’m told those are different planes. Maybe next time,” the president told the press.
Sources in the Pentagon confirmed that planning was underway for a full military parade to celebrate the end of the national quarantine.