Bill Maher returned to the air on Friday night with his first at-home edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”.
Filmed in his backyard, Maher took aim at U.S. President Donald Trump and his sluggish response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 300,000 confirmed cases and over 8,100 deaths to date.
Maher zeroed in on Trump’s statements mere weeks ago that the coronavirus was no worse than a typical flu and would “miraculously” go away in April “when it gets a little warmer,” even declaring he wanted to see jam-packed church pews at Easter. As evidence emerges that the president dragged their heels despite being warned about the coming crisis as early as late December.
Maher, never a fan of Trump, shredded the government’s shoddy response, despite Trump’s assertions that his handling of the pandemic has been “perfect” and “a 10,” while bragging, “We’ve done a great job.”
Maher ain’t buying it. “I’m all for rallying around the flag, but let’s not rally around the guy who missed all the red flags,” Maher sneered, declaring this president unworthy of Americans’ support.
“Was the current crisis preventable?” he asked. “Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our’s did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his a** off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have 21 times the cases and 30 times fewer deaths,” he added.
“If this is a war, Trump lost it in January,” Maher continued. “He’s not FDR or JFK, he’s LOL. So it’s more than a little disturbing that he is getting a bump in the polls on this. A bump, that tells us we are once again entering into rally-around-the-leader time. Around the guy who made it worse. I mean, come on, toilet paper is now more valuable than the dollar.”
In his opening monologue, Maher — accompanied by a fake laugh track that erupted at every punchline — detailed how he’s been following all the social distancing directives, including staying “six feet away from strangers — eight from Charlie Sheen.”
For Los Angeles residents, Maher joked, the worst part of the pandemic has been “seeing that the highways are empty, but there’s nowhere to go. Some people are looking at porn at home, I’m looking at photos of the 405 with no cars on them.”
Maher then expressed his gratitude that he had no coronavirus symptoms — “except if you count s**tting my pants every time Trump talks,” he joked.