The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels have performed over 92 flyovers in cities across the U.S. to show their gratitude for healthcare workers across the country.
Americans love a good flyover. They're an example of the U.S. military's might and it stirs up feelings of deep patriotism.
These flyovers are also a wonderful marketing and recruiting tool for the military. In fact, the Pentagon pays sports franchises millions in taxpayer dollars to stage them.
Dr. Bill Millers, a healthcare hero in Chicago, called B.S. on all the military pageantry saying that it's totally unnecessary in this time of crisis.
"I'm Dr. Bill. I'm as patriotic as the next guy but I read today they're going to have the Blue Angels and other Air Force flying wizards flyover many cities for healthcare workers to show their support," he said in a video clip shared May 12.
"You want to help healthcare workers? These are the goddamn N-95 masks we have to deal with, these are painters masks. Get us equipment. Get us PPE. Get us N-95 that are worth anything. Get us tests for everybody. Okay?" he said while shaking his mask.
"Don't flyover something so we can see some crap, $450,000, to make the president look good," he added.
"You want to help healthcare workers, take that same money and feed the people in the inner city who have nothing to eat. Help the food care workers who are working. Help the service industry people. Don't flyover and say 'oh aren't they great?' Let's be real," he said.
Dr. Bill Millers Talks About The Blue Angels That Flew To Honor Fellow Frontline Warriors www.youtube.com
Dr. Bill put his neck on the line by violating America's unspoken P.C. (Patriotic Correctness) rule number one: Thou shalt not criticize the military.
But he's totally right.
A report by medical journal The Lancet reported in The Daily Mail revealed that there a lot of hospitals struggling to find protective gear. "6,169 hospitals, healthcare and other facilities including nursing homes made PPE requests through volunteer organization GetUsPPE asking for N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns and face shields," the report read.
The Washington Post reports that the U.S. military flyovers to salute healthcare workers cost about $60,000 an hour to produce and have cost the country over $5.5 million. That sum could have been spent to provide ventilators or protective masks for America's most vulnerable.
Air Force Gen. Dave Goldfein disagrees. "'This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America's spirit will prevail," he said in a statement.
"This is a tribute to them, to our warriors because they're equal warriors to those incredible pilots and all of the fighters that we have for the more traditional fights that we win," President Donald Trump said in April about the flyovers.
A senior military official told The Washington Post that the cost of the flights comes from money already in the Pentagon budget.
The U.S. spends as much on the military as the next 10 countries combined (eight of those countries are allies). The number continues to rise even though we are currently living in the most peaceful time in world history.
The total above doesn't even reflect the cost of international affairs, homeland security or veterans affairs. In total the U.S. military costs tax payers $1.25 trillion dollars a year. That figure is just about one-third of the $3.86 trillion in tax revenue in 2021.
Everything that is provided with taxpayer money comes with a cost. Imagine if we could use that money on healthcare? Education? Paying off a national debt that has us on the course for utter financial ruin? Or simply giving it back to the taxpayers?
However, we live in a country where people who question military spending are shouted down and branded with the scarlet letter of not being patriotic, a "real American" or not "supporting the troops."
Dr. Bill should be commended for not being afraid to touch the third-rail and for speaking truth to the greatest power on Earth.