CNN anchor and chief domestic correspondent Jim AcostaJames (Jim) AcostaLofgren: Many Jan. 6 panel witnesses are former Trump officials CNN's Acosta labels Tucker Carlson Jan. 6 series 'Proud Boy porn' Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE on Saturday called out several GOP politicians who have pushed back on mandatory masking and COVID-19 vaccination, suggesting new coronavirus variants be named after them.
Acosta went after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills A sad reality: In a season of giving, most will ignore America's poor Walt Disney World pauses vaccine mandate after DeSantis signs new legislation MORE (R) and other Republicans during a segment Saturday afternoon, saying the politicians "know better" as the number of COVID-19 cases rises across the country due to the highly transmissible delta variant.
“People should not have to die so some politicians can own the libs. They’re not owning anybody,” Acosta said. “But they may end up owning the pandemic, because they’re prolonging it.”
He noted that DeSantis signed an order last week to ban mask mandates in public schools and other places, despite a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Florida, and aired video of GOP Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (Mo.) criticizing the Biden administration for mandating that federal workers receive the vaccine.
Acosta also bashed DeSantis for selling merchandise on his campaign website going after Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNew variant raises questions about air travel mandates Auschwitz Museum, Jewish groups condemn Lara Logan's Fauci comments Lara Logan compares Fauci to Nazi doctor MORE, President BidenJoe BidenCDC working to tighten testing requirement for international travelers On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan MORE's chief medical adviser, including koozies reading "Don't Fauci my Florida," as well as the governor's remarks telling Biden to focus on the border and not his state's mask policies.
"Perhaps it's time to start naming these new variants that may be coming out after them," Acosta said, referring to the GOP politicians. "Instead of the delta variant, why not call it the DeSantis variant?"
"We can sell beer koozies that say 'Don't Florida my Fauci' and use the money to pay for all the funerals in the days to come," he added.