Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers roast Delta's CEO for refusing to call the virus by name: 'He said from now on our airline's pronounced Del-TAY'

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Delta plane
A Delta Air Lines plane. Getty Images
  • Late-night hosts roasted Delta Air Lines' CEO for refusing to use the term "Delta variant."

  • Delta CEO Ed Bastian has called it "the variant" or used its scientific name, B.1.617.2.

  • "Apparently he's afraid that if he says Delta too many times the virus will show up like Candyman," Jimmy Fallon joked.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The late-night TV hosts Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon roasted Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian for refusing to use the term "Delta variant."

"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 that if he says Delta too many times the virus will show up like Candyman."

Fallon also showed a mock ad depicting a message of support for the airline from "Ebola Farms Baked Goods and Treats."

Bastian has referred to the variant by its scientific name, B.1.617.2, or otherwise called it "the variant." Bastian told The Wall Street Journal last month that the airline hadn't noticed any drop in business as a result of its shared name with the Delta variant.

"He's doing anything he can to distance Delta from the variant," Fallon said. "Today he said from now on our airline's pronounced Del-TAY."

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. It now requires weekly testing for unvaccinated employees and charges them $200 extra for company health insurance.

In June, Delta's chief health officer, Henry Ting, poked fun at the situation in a tweet. "We prefer to call it the B.1.617.2 variant since that is so much more simple to say and remember," Ting said.

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