CNN anchor and Jim Acosta attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other GOP lawmakers Saturday over their opposition to mask and COVID-19 vaccination mandates, saying that new coronavirus variants should be named after them.
Acosta said during his weekend show that the Republicans "know better" as the highly infectious delta variant leads to a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.
"As the nation battles the Delta variant, states remain divided between those fighting the virus and those fighting the science. States led by politicians who know better. Case in point: Florida," Acosta said.
"People should not have to die so some politicians can own the libs. They’re not owning anybody," he continued. "But they may end up owning the pandemic, because they’re prolonging it."
He pointed out that DeSantis signed an executive order last month preventing public schools from imposing mask mandates amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the state. Acosta also showed footage of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) slamming the Biden administration for requiring that federal employees show proof that they received the vaccine.
The CNN host also called out DeSantis for selling merchandise that criticized Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president. The products found on the governor's campaign website include koozies that read "Don't Fauci my Florida."
"Perhaps it's time to start naming these new variants that may be coming out after them," Acosta said, alluding to the GOP lawmakers. "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 continued.
This comes amid a spike in COVID cases in Florida as about one out of every five new cases in the United States comes from the Sunshine State. The state reported 46,686 new coronavirus cases on Friday alone.