Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers roast Delta's CEO for refusing to call the virus by name: 'He said from now on, our airline is pronounced Del-TAY' – Markets Insider
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Late-night TV hosts Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon roasted Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian for refusing to use the term "Delta variant" on their talk shows.
"This explains why pilots have been saying, 'Welcome aboard. Thank you for flying B.1.617.2 Airlines!'" Fallon joked on Thursday night. "Apparently, he's afraid if he says Delta too many times, the virus will show up like Candyman."
In his show, Fallon also showed a mock ad depicting a message of support for Delta Airlines from "Ebola Farms Baked Goods and Treats."
Bastian has instead referred to the variant by its scientific name – B.1.617.2 – or otherwise called it "the variant." Despite the shared name between the virus and the airline, Bastian stated that the company hasn't noticed any drop in business as a result.
"He's doing anything he can to distance Delta from the variant. He said from now on, our airline is pronounced Del-tay," Fallon joked.
In Meyers' show, the host quipped: "The CEO of Delta Air Lines said in a new interview that he won't refer to the new coronavirus variant as Delta. Though I don't think it's cool that he keeps calling it the Air China virus."
Delta Air Lines has implemented new safety rules as a result of the Delta variant, including weekly testing for unvaccinated employees and requiring the unvaccinated to pay $200 extra for company health insurance.
Delta's chief health officer Henry Ting poked fun at the situation in a tweet, saying "We prefer to call it the B.1.617.2 variant since that is so much more simple to say and remember…"