CNN’s Jim Acosta appeared to offer starkly different coverage of current COVID-19 flare-ups in major Democratic-controlled cities compared to his disparagement of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis when Florida was fielding a surge of delta variant cases.
New York City reported 5,731 new cases on Sunday in spite of its strict mandates, and the state at large reported a record number of new cases in one day on Thursday, at 21,027.
“‘It’s not just another COVID wave, it’s a tsunami,'” Acosta said. “That is how one expert describes the threat heading for the U.S. as the Delta variant continues to fuel new cases and hospitalizations. And the omicron variant spreads as quickly as any virus since the measles. We are already seeing the impact as long lines for COVID tests are forming across New York City, these people lining up to be tested at a mobile testing van all before the van even arrived.”
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When Acosta kicked it over to correspondent Polo Sandoval, he noted the long lines of people were not for sports tickets but for testing. “Newsroom” then played a clip of Mayor Bill de Blasio calling the surge a “temporary phenomenon.”
“From everything that I’ve heard from our healthcare leadership, again, this is a very temporary phenomenon,” de Blasio said,, adding, “We’re in an entirely different reality because this is a very highly vaccinated city.”
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Sandoval agreed with the mayor that the high vaccination rate was a “good” sign for the city. Omicron is highly transmissible and has broken through vaccinated people, but the vaccines have offered strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization from the virus and its variants.
“Yes, a little over 70 percent of New Yorkers fully vaccinated right now, that’s obviously a good number here,” Sandoval said. “So there’s some optimism coming from the mayor, but, at the same time, when you hear from people, they share in that, but they are certainly aware that this is a really important step to make sure that they continue to stay safe.”
Natasha Chen, who was stationed in Los Angeles, reported on the alarming increase in hospitalizations. But she said the state health department was taking matters “very seriously.”
Acosta’s and his team’s neutral coverage of the COVID crisis in the above liberal cities ran in stark contrast to how he reported on Florida’s coronavirus cases in August. At that time Acosta spared no mercy for DeSantis, accusing him of prolonging the pandemic for not enforcing mask and vaccine mandates.
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“People should not have to die so some people can own the libs,” Acosta said. “But they may end up owning the pandemic, because they’re prolonging it.”
“Instead of the delta variant, why not call it the DeSantis variant?” Acosta added. “We could sell beer koozies that say ‘Don’t Florida My Fauci,’ and use the money to help pay for all of the funerals in the days to come.”
Acosta, who frequently injected left-leaning commentary into his reporting while CNN’s White House correspondent, is now a reliably liberal weekend host for the network.
Several other media pundits have taken DeSantis to task, as well as other Republican governors like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, for not enforcing restrictive mandates like their liberal counterparts.
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Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.