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The Founder of jetBlue Questions America’s Response to Coronavirus Pandemic in Veiled Bid to Restart Economy and Air Travel

The Founder of jetBlue Questions America’s Response to Coronavirus Pandemic in Veiled Bid to Restart Economy and Air Travel

The Huge Giveaway Clue in jetBlue's 'Save the Date' Poster

David’s Neeleman, The founder of JetBlue, Canada’s Westjest and Azul Brazilian Airlines has hit out at America’s response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak but his criticism of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response might not be the for the reasons you would expect. Instead, the billionaire airline executive, who is also an investor in TAP Portugal Airlines suggests more should be done to open up the economy and get air travel back to normal.

“Instead of your current policy that creates enormous uncertainty; fear and doubt keeps the economy in a downward spiral in hopes that we may someday have a vaccine or drug therapies that may never come to fruition,” Neeleman complains.

Instead, he suggests only those with chronic underlying health conditions should remain sheltered in place, while anyone aged 65 or older, as well as those with underlying health conditions should protect themselves by wearing a mask in indoor areas and carrying hand sanitizer.

“Those under the age of 65 with none of the underlying conditions that increase the risk of dying from COVID-19,” he continues, “should be free to return to work and school but are required to stay at least 10 feet away from anyone wearing a mask and should also adhere to other social distancing guidelines.”

The comments are at odds with official advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many State governors, as well as jetBlue’s own policy that mandates the wearing of face masks by all passengers and crew.

Neeleman is no longer involved in the running of JetBlue but was preparing to launch a new regional U.S. airline that had been dubbed ‘Moxy’ after the hotel chain which is designed to cater for millenials.

He suggests that using new scientific data will allow the government to “protect our economy while supporting the health and wellbeing of the American workers so that they can provide financially for their families”. Not doing so, he argues, would lead to another Great Depression with “higher mortality rates based on famine and poor living conditions”.

“In this era of political correctness, too many have accepted the completely incorrect premise that this disease doesn’t discriminate, that we are all equally vulnerable to it. The facts, clearly, are otherwise,” he argues.

Neeleman suggests that if the American people were better informed about the risk of dying from COVID-19, more would be willing to go about their everyday lives like before. Many airline executives believe it may now take the industry years to recover because many passengers will be fearful to travel.

Major U.S. airlines have warned of mass job losses come October as money from Trump’s CARES Act runs out.

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