Even with the end of the Federal travel mask mandate, Delta Airlines faced massive backlash with a statement it made about Covid being a "seasonal virus" this week. Because, as we all know, just because a virus intensifies in certain months doesn't make it a "seasonal" virus, right? After all, we don't just walk around saying "It's flu season!".
Wait, maybe we do. OK, scratch that.
Delta wrote in an initial statement after the federal mask mandate was lifted: "We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 has transitioned to an ordinary seasonal virus."
That one sentence set off a firestorm among passengers, medical experts and public health leaders, according to NPR, who promptly "turned to social media to dispute the claim and call out the lack of scientific evidence behind it."
Delta was forced to update its statement, telling NPR that it did so "for clarity and accuracy" and declining to comment further.
Delta's new statement now reads: "We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 transitions to a more manageable respiratory virus — with better treatments, vaccines and other scientific measures to prevent serious illness."
But NPR seems to taking exception with the fact that Delta has used the idea of Covid being a seasonal virus in the past. They pointed out that CEO Ed Bastian said last week he had made certain decisions "given the fact that we really do believe that the pandemic has moved to a seasonal virus."
Yale epidemiologist and global health activist Gregg Gonsalves was one of the many representing "scientific" outrage over the completely meaningless and innocuous statement, taking to Twitter and writing: "I don't care what you think about masking, but Delta's comment that #SARSCOV2 has transitioned to become an 'ordinary seasonal virus' is just bonkers, has no basis in science and is outright misinformation misleading their customers (of which I am one!)."
"My source says that Delta did not consult with its senior medical advisor before releasing this misinformation. Hope Delta will correct ASAP!" wrote Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist.
Oh yeah Eric? Well our source says people are tired of arguing over pointless semantics and just want to get on with their normal, maskless, lives. Hope you will correct ASAP!