On Wednesday’s Late Night, Seth Meyers traced a clear throughline from the way President Donald Trump and his administration ignored repeated warnings about a dangerous pandemic to their recent promotion of unproven drugs to treat the coronavirus.
Meyers opened his recurring segment, “A Closer Look,” by delving into Trump’s repeated assertion that nobody could’ve seen a pandemic like this coming, before offering a slew of news reports that showed he and his administration were receiving briefings and warnings about this exact kind of scenario as early as 2017. In terms of the COVID-19 outbreak specifically, intelligence reports warned of a crisis as early as November 2019.
“Well, you know the old saying, ‘Eight strikes and you’re out,'” Meyers cracked. “Seriously, how many incredibly specific warnings do you need? This is like getting a note that says, ‘I know what you did last summer, specifically you hit a man with your car and then you and Freddie Prinze, Jr. decided to hide the body and pretend it never happened and now in an act of revenge I’m going to systematically stalk and kill each of you one at a time.'”
Meyers noted that while it was obvious Trump knew the coronavirus was a threat and lied about it, further problems arise because even the people issuing the warnings inside the administration can’t be trusted. He highlighted trade adviser Peter Navarro, who wrote a memo to Trump in January warning about the risks of a pandemic. Now, Navarro — who has no medical expertise — is one of the loudest people pushing for the use of the unproven malaria medication hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.
“It’s clear that because he ignored repeated warnings about this horrific situation, Trump is now hoping there’s a miracle cure that will get him off the hook,” Meyers said, before showing a clip of Trump urging people to try hydroxychloroquine as a treatment because, “What do you have to lose?”
“My god, is anyone else creeped out by his tone of voice?” Meyers said. “I feel like he just pulled up in a window-less white van across from a high school. ‘Hey kid, I’ve got some hydroxychloroquine that’ll make you feel sky high!'”