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Bill Maher Bravely Tells America Not to Be Afraid of Germs — While Quarantined in His Back Yard

Comic and political commentator Bill Maher urged Americans not to be afraid of germs during his HBO program, which has been produced under strict quarantine for the past several weeks.

On Friday night’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, the show opened as it has since the coronavirus pandemic forced production into quarantine: with Maher delivering his monologue from his back yard to an “audience” of canned reaction shots for humorous effect. The entire point of the gag is that Maher is on complete lockdown.

The show also featured several interviews conducted in the now-familiar social distancing format that Covid-19 has thrust upon the media world.

But when the time came for Maher’s weekly “New Rules” segment, the topic was the American public’s cowardly fear of germs, and lack of trust in their magical immune systems — all from the confines of Maher’s own quarantine garden.

“The next time we  have a worldwide pandemic, we have to come up with a better solution than ‘everyone becomes Howie Mandel’,” Maher said, referencing the famously germaphobic comedian, then went on to explain that Mandel has debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

“The past two months have given people the idea that the way to win our million-year war with microbes is to avoid them completely,” Maher said of imaginary people. “And I’m here to tell you you can’t.”

“The key to beating covid isn’t dining through glass or never going to a concert or a ballgame again, it’s your immune system,” he claimed. “You hear people say covid-19 is a new virus so the immune system doesn’t know how to handle it. Bullshit, of course it does, that’s why the vast majority of people who’ve had it either recovered or they didn’t even know they had it. What do you think did that? The human immune system.”

Maher went on to say that “governors should declare keeping our bodies in good health an essential job because that’s the only way we’re going to win this.”

None of that is how epidemiology works. Social distancing is a way to slow transmission of a virus that does, in fact, kill young and healthy people too until effective mitigation, and eventually a vaccine, can be implemented. Maher’s producers appear to know that, and Maher is still doing his show from the back yard, not a crowded beach protest.

Watch above via HBO.

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