In the wake of President Trump appointing Mike Pence to lead the U.S. response to the coronavirus threat, late-night host Trevor Noah shared some thoughts during a Wednesday-night segment on The Daily Show called "Is This How We Die?"
"The coronavirus," Noah began. "It’s the worst global pandemic since baby shark."
He went on to say, "There are now over 80,000 confirmed cases in 40 countries, including over 57 confirmed cases right here in the United States." He then coughed, mimicking an infected person, and spat out, "58."
"So today, the president of the United States held an emergency press conference to address people’s concerns," Noah explained. The Daily Show cut to CNN breaking news, with Trump saying, "I’ve just received a briefing from a great group of talented people, we are ready to adapt and do whatever we have to as the disease spreads, if it spreads … I’m going to be putting my vice president, Mike Pence, in charge."
Noah jumped in at that point with, "Yes, this is major news. Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of America’s effort to contain the coronavirus. I think this is great, because Mike Pence has a lot of experience in this area: he’s been quarantining himself from women his whole life."
Continuing his thread, Noah said, "Some might be worried, because when Mike Pence was governor of Indiana, he enabled an HIV outbreak when he didn’t follow the advice of public health officials. But I’ll be honest, I still feel safer with him than with Trump. Because Trump — if you saw the briefing — it didn’t seem as if he knew anything that we didn’t. It’s almost like he gets his news online with us." Noah launched into an impression, complete with mannerisms: "I saw a thing, it looks pretty bad. A lot of people have it, you might have it, I don’t even know if I have it."
Later on, Noah explained, "Earlier this week when Trump was briefed on the virus, he seemed less concerned about a pandemic hurting people than he was about it hurting the economy. Because that’s Trump’s real nightmare, right — his stock market gets sick." The comedian dove into another impression, "No, not my poor stock market.. Wall Street, I’ll nurse you back to health with my special chicken soup. It’s a KFC bucket poured with Diet Coke."
The late-night host then tapped into some of the anxieties that Americans are feeling since the outbreak. "And also, when Trump first talked about the coronavirus this week, I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t exactly reassuring." The Daily Show cut to a news segment of Trump speaking in New Delhi, India: “The coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country, we have very few people with it, they’re getting better … I think that whole situation will start working out, a lot of talent and brainpower, $2 and a half billion we’re putting in. There’s a very good chance you’re not going to die.”
Noah seized an opportunity to declare a one-liner: "OK, we’re definitely all going to die."
"Trump is great for jokes, but in times of crisis, Trump is the worst person to reassure the nation. Because a president is like a parent. They’re supposed to make people feel like they have things under control. Trump is like the parent who would freak their kid out even more." He sets the scene for a parental interaction, with a child asking, “Daddy, there are monsters under my bed, are they there?" The parent answers, "I don’t know kid, probably not, but nobody knows for sure. You could have swallowed a tiny monster and its growing in your tummy right now. Alright, goodnight buddy."
Watch the full segment below.