The host started out by quoting the CDC’s statement about whether the coronavirus will spread to the United States: “[It’s] not a matter of if, but when.”
“Which is just not a comforting thing to hear about the spread of something deadly,” he said. “It’s only comforting when you’re talking about whether Saoirse Ronan will win an Oscar or whether Henry Kissinger will ever die. Don’t worry — it’s not a question of if, but when!”
He also delved into the ridiculous questions people are asking about the virus, like whether it’s transmitted by eating Chinese food or if gargling bleach will cure it. While a two percent mortality rate doesn’t seem that bad, the host opines that if 80 percent of the cases are mild, it’s likely to spread without people even realizing it. “There’s only one infectious disease that two-thirds of the world should be getting right now,” he said. “And that’s Adam Driver fever.”
He then traces how the coronavirus began in China, before playing Vietnam’s catchy tune about washing your hands to prevent the illness. “It absolutely slaps,” he admitted of the song, which has inspired dance routines on TikTok. “That’s a genuine club banger right there.”
Oliver also took a jab at Vice President Mike Pence, who was recently appointed by Trump to handle the coronavirus in the U.S. “He’s got a certain talent for this,” Trump said in a clip.
Oliver sat calmly with his fingers intertwined, smiling at the camera. “Does he?” he asked. “Does he though? Because I was under the impression that the only things Pence had a ‘certain talent’ for were avoiding off-leash women, sucking up to people who represent the antithesis of everything he claims to believe in and miserably failing pulling off a haircut known as the Judi Dench.”
He then flashes to a hilarious clip of Trump leaving in the middle of a press conference about the coronavirus last week, while Pence and human health and services secretary Alex M. Azar II awkwardly tell the crowd about the White House’s plan of attack. “I know we used to only see businessman Trump,” Oliver said. “But it is nice to occasionally get a glimpse of the absentee father in him, too.”
Trump has also been downplaying the severity of the looming pandemic while tweeting false information about it, which Oliver quickly addressed: “You can’t just ignore real numbers and make up ones that you like better,” he said. “This is the problem with a president whose entire life has been a series of low stakes lies. A man who has lied about — among other things — 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!”