In a detailed and extended note to Delta Air Lines employees concerning vaccine penalties, CEO Ed Bastian went to great lengths to avoid one phrase, delta variant. Welcome to the consternation of running an airline with the same name…
Delta Dodge: The Term Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian Refuses To Use
With the delta variant accounting for 93.4 of new U.S. COVID-19 cases in July 2021, the term has become a household name. But Bastian refused to use it in his letter to employees, warning they would be fined $200 per month if they chose not to be inoculated.
“Over the past few weeks, the fight has changed with the rise of the B. 1.617.2 variant — a very aggressive form of the virus.”
We know B. 1.617.2 as the “delta” variant.
Later on his note, Bastian also referred to to the delta variant as “the most recent virus variants.”
A Delta spokesperson explained:
“The Delta family holds our brand close as part of our professionalism and all that we stand for. And while we haven’t seen any serious confusion out there as a result of the WHO naming convention, there’s also the catchy scientific name of the variant that deserves to have its profile lifted through all of this as well.”
According to The Washington Post, it was not Delta’s PR team that insisted upon this, but a collaborative effort:
“This was a natural decision from leaders and really everyone across Delta as the naming convention of all the covid variants arrived at the fourth one.”
On Twitter, Delta’s Chief Health Officer Harry Ting wryly noted that the B. 1.617.2 is so much easier to remember…
We prefer to call it the B.1.617.2 variant since that is so much more simple to say and remember…
— Henry Ting, MD MBA (@henrytingmd) June 30, 2021
Meanwhile, Bastian told CBS News:
“I don’t refer to the original variant name. If anything, I call it ‘the darn variant.”
Darn variant indeed…
Delta is going out of its way to avoid using the phrase “delta variant.”
In the meantime, Delta Air Lines should start selling Corona beer onboard. It could call it B. 1.617.2 beer.
Delta Air Lines will require employees to be vaccinated or face weekly testing and a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance.