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Why is Delta Air Lines taking heat on Twitter?

Answer: For referring to COVID-19 as an “ordinary seasonal virus.”

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Delta Air Lines just can’t catch a break when it comes to COVID-19 and labeling. First, the company was unlucky enough to share a name with one of the virus’ variants. At least that time they could blame the unfortunate wording on someone else. This time, however, they have no one to blame but themselves.

It all started when a federal judge overruled the federal mask mandate for public transportation and air travel. Many of the U.S.’s major airlines, including Delta, subsequently dropped their mask mandates. In its announcement of this move, Delta stated: “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.”

Many on Twitter took issue with the phrase “ordinary seasonal virus,” as COVID-19 is, well, not that (maybe one day, but we still have a long way to go). Many on Twitter criticized not only this phrasing, but the fact that some Delta pilots reportedly received the news mid-flight and proceeded to inform the passengers, prompting some to immediately remove their masks. Delta has since amended its statement, replacing “ordinary seasonal virus” with “a more manageable respiratory virus.”