comScore John Oliver Rips Fox, Trump's Downplaying of Coronavirus

John Oliver Rips Fox News, Trump on Coronavirus: ‘Lying About the Spread of a Deadly Disease’

John Oliver took on President Donald Trump and his response to coronavirus in Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight.

Oliver used much of his show to break down the facts of the virus, analyzing how it spread from China, the seriousness of the pandemic, and how world governments are trying to limit the spread. When he arrived at America’s attempts to counter the virus, Oliver focused on White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow claiming, “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight.”

“Well, which is it?” Oliver exclaimed. “‘Airtight’ versus ‘close to airtight’ is a pretty crucial distinction…The dissonance there speaks to a real problem, because in a global health emergency, you want to hear from the many trained experts who we’re lucky enough to have working in our nation’s public health agencies. You do not want to hear from politicians.”

After that, Oliver panned Trump over the press conference in which he put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the White House’s coronavirus task force. He also blasted the president for his focus on “downplaying any potential bad news” and contradicting his government officials by dismissing the virus’ seriousness.

“Your experts just said cases will go up, and you said cases will go down! This is the problem with a president whose entire life has been a series of low-stakes lies. A man who has lied about his net worth, his Apprentice ratings, the number of floors in Trump Tower, the size of the Electoral College victory, the attendance of his rallies, whether it rained at his inaugural and even whether or not he was invited on this ‘very boring and low-rated show!’ Which he wasn’t. It was a lie! but there is a difference between lying about something that means literally nothing and lying about the spread of a deadly disease.”

Eventually, Oliver directed his ire at Fox News by accusing “the president’s favorite channel” of amplifying false information and “baseless internet rumors” about the virus. When he finally arrived at how scared people should be of the virus, Oliver answered with “a bit” before offering several practical solutions to maintain public health amid the global panic.

Watch above, via HBO.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under: