Live from The Void, it’s Last Week Tonight!
John Oliver resumed his hosting duties from home on Sunday night after shutting down production due to coronavirus precautions on March 13. Sitting in front of a blank white background (in contrast with his other late-night peers’ hallway, game room or bathtub), Oliver acknowledged his shift in locale to “a blank white void full of sad facts. Where else did you think I lived?” Wherever he lives, it’s got a commendably high homemade production value.
In his third segment on the coronavirus, Oliver delved into Trump’s threw-a-dartboard-on-a-calendar promise to “open the country back up” by Easter, and the newly minted “death cult” of older conservative leaders bizarrely enthusiastically insisting on throwing themselves at the altar of the American stock market in order to revive the economy and die via a preventable disease.
“If you really want to die so the American economy can boom, we already have a system in place for that and it’s called Black Friday,” jokes Oliver.
Oliver pointed out that nations like Iran and Spain tried the Black Friday approach to the coronavirus, neglecting to practice safe social distancing measures, and are now “home to mass graves you can see from space and ice skating rinks being used as morgues.”
He translates it for the libertarian-nihilist crowd: If hospitals are overwhelmed and even more people continue to die, including many admitted for reasons other than coronavirus, the economy will still tank.
“Relaxing social distancing right now isn’t just trading one bad outcome for another, it’s trading one bad outcome for both bad outcomes. It’s shitting on your cake and choking on it too.”
Oliver also addressed the dire lack of supplies in hospitals that Trump continues to refuse to take action on and the dystopian reality of governors forced to outbid each other in order to get medical equipment from manufacturers: “This is the government’s response to a pandemic, not fucking Storage Wars.”
Oliver ends by sympathizing with and saluting healthcare professionals, and urging viewers to continue social distancing for their sake. After showing a clip as bleak as you’d expect from a healthcare professional in New York hospital scrambling for ventilators and storing dead bodies in a refrigerated 18-wheeler, Oliver succinctly summarizes the political dimension of the virus: “This was always going to be hard, but it didn’t need to be this hard.”
Watch the latest Last Week Tonight below.