10:23pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
John Oliver Slams Trump for Being "Irresponsible" Over Coronavirus Handling
After being off for a week amid the coronavirus pandemic, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver returned Sunday, filming in a new location — with a white background and sans audience — and Oliver noted that he filmed the show Saturday given the challenges of filming amid the CDC's social distancing guidelines.
Oliver also said that he'd been working from home, as has his staff.
The HBO show host wasted no time in attacking President Trump again for his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
"Again and again, Trump has failed to give this crisis the seriousness it deserves," he said.
Oliver opined that Trump is "less equipped to deal with this historical moment than anybody in recorded history."
Oliver cited Trump's tweet a month ago saying the U.S. had the situation "very much under control"; his failure to recognize the pandemic earlier — and his later proclamations that he predicted this would become a pandemic early on; his decision not to invoke the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to produce more ventilators sooner; and his recent comments that he wanted the country to open back up by Easter Sunday, April 12.
"If you are going to pick a holiday to break a quarantine, you could do a lot worse than one honoring the time Jesus was supposed to stay inside — and didn't," Oliver quipped.
He went on: "It's worth taking a moment to appreciate just how irresponsible that attitude is. Because we wasted so much time that we could have spent preparing, the virus is now widespread. And thanks to how we have massively botched the rollout of testing the virus, we still don't know how exactly how bad things are."
He also blasted Trump for turning the crisis into a political issue, when he said to a reporter asking if the Easter date was too early: "I think there are certain people who would like it not to open so quickly. I think there are certain people who would like it to do poorly financially, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls. I don't know if that's so, but I think it's so that people in your profession that would like that to happen."
Replied Oliver: "Oh, for fuck's sake! No one is thinking about you. These guidelines did not revolve around you. For once, something has come along that is more toxic and more threatening than this president, and somehow he's got fucking stage envy."
He added that he was "rooting for [Trump] to do this better. Handling a crisis well is not inherently political," Oliver said, noting that he isn't a fan of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine or New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but he admits that he thinks both are doing a good job of handling the crisis.
"I can't wait to get to the other side of this when I can go back to being irritated by him again," Oliver quipped of Cuomo.