Seth Meyers and his cohort of late-night hosts returned from a two-week summer vacation on Monday night to a country with surging coronavirus case numbers in numerous southern states. And after months of resisting calls to wear a face mask, Donald Trump finally appeared in public with the safety measure in place during a visit to Walter Reed medical center.
“Wow, only four months too late,” said Meyers. “What’s he going to do next, drag his Christmas tree out to the curb? Start making sourdough starter and watching Tiger King? Govern?”
During Late Night’s Closer Look segment on the administration’s vague guidance to hinge federal school funding on reopening, Meyers returned to Trump’s mask, which made him look like a “muzzled horse”, he said.
“Trump’s team acted like this was a big deal but who cares? You’re four months late. It’s like someone saying, ‘Should we not do a live-action Cats? Now.’”
Meyers also recapped the plan to reopen schools without federal guidance on how to handle coronavirus outbreaks, which was fronted by Betsy DeVos on TV this weekend.
DeVos’s plan basically amounts to, according to Meyers, “it’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to keep your kid safe, and if you don’t, they’re going to unilaterally strip funding from your school, which they don’t even have the power to do anyway”.
Meyers agreed that of course everyone wants schools to reopen, but coronavirus demands contingency plans. “No one knows how this ends,” Meyers said. “The best most of us can do is mitigate risk for the benefit of ourselves and others around us and take steps to make sure we’re ready for all contingencies. You can’t only have a plan A, especially when the guy in charge thinks ‘Plana’ is how you spell ‘plane.’”
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah also addressed the deja vu of coronavirus chaos in several US states that dodged the worst of New York’s overwhelming wave in March and April, which killed over 22,000 people.
“I don’t know what’s worse, honestly – the fact that so many states opened too early, or the fact that they are now facing problems that should have been solved months ago,” said Noah.
“Surging cases, PPE shortages, testing backlogs – these are all the same problems America was dealing with back in March.”
The situation in states such as Arizona, where testing lines stretched for hours, or Florida, which set a single-day state case record over the weekend with over 15,000 new cases, reminded Noah of the moment “in a horror movie when the teenagers run upstairs away from the killer instead of running outside”.
“This is like if they didn’t even run. They just stayed on the couch watching TV.”
As for Trump finally donning a mask, “I know that is part of the reason Trump resisted wearing the mask for so long is because he is self-conscious about his image,” Noah said.
“So let me go on record as saying: President Trump, don’t listen to any of the haters out there, who are saying you look like a diabetic Bane or ‘Shredder from the Ninja Turtles if all he shredded was cheese.’ You look great, so please keep wearing that mask.”
“So coronavirus cases are skyrocketing,” Stephen Colbert said on his return to the Late Show, “but don’t worry, because the White House is working hard on an aggressive new plan: discredit Dr Anthony Fauci.”
The nation’s top public health expert has been under fire from the administration after openly criticizing America’s numerous botched responses in handling the pandemic.
“As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great,” Fauci said in an interview on 9 July.
In response to Fauci’s comments, Colbert broke out his Trump impression: “How dare you, Fauci! What kind of person would say America’s not doing great and needs to be made great again?”
But Trump did finally wear a mask, “and I just want to say: Ha-ha! Fell for it, sucker,” joked Colbert. “This was all the long con. We’ve been wearing ’em just to get you to look stupid. You’ve been health’d.”
“Trump maintains that he’s been a mask-man all along,” Colbert continued, but the president told reporters that he just thinks there’s “a time and a place to wear them”.
“Yes, there’s a time and a place: pandemic and face,” Colbert said.
And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon became the first late-night host to return to the studio since New York’s coronavirus quarantine began in mid-March, although with numerous safety precautions such as mandatory masks for crews, 6ft between staff, and temperature checks before entering the building.
“This was truly done the safest way possible, and we would only do it that way if that was the case,” Fallon said.
Having gone through the pandemic in New York, Fallon told viewers in states experiencing a surge in cases, such as Arizona and Florida, that he “knows how hard it is”, but “I guess I’m here to show you there is a light at the end of the tunnel if we all do our part to keep each other safe.”
“I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but normalcy, any type of normalcy, feels great,” he added.
Later, Fallon also riffed on Trump finally wearing a mask. “Yeah, it was a really smart move – if today were March 13th,” he joked. “Years from now, that mask will be in the Smithsonian, and none of us will be able to see it because we’ll still be in lockdown.”
Source: The Guardian |NewsColony