John Oliver’s final “Last Week Tonight” before the election focused on President Trump’s response — or lack thereof — to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how it could affect his re-election chances.
“All presidents tend to face a defining crisis, but his response has been such a disaster, there may be massive f–k-ups you may have already forgotten,” Oliver said at the top of the show.
Oliver first examined what some Trump voters had to say about how the pandemic could affect Trump’s chances for re-election, featuring brief interviews with several supporters who said they’d still stand behind Trump in the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
Most of them said Trump is “doing the best that he can.” Oliver pounced on this, noting that they might actually be correct.
“Do you mean the best that any president can, or the best that he can? Because if it’s the second one, you may actually be right…. we should probably all be grateful he hasn’t tried bottling his urine and selling it as ‘Trump Immunity Juice,” Oliver quipped.
While Oliver noted, a lot of voters are “more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt” still, he spent the remainder of the special — once again — examining how the Trump administration’s pandemic plan is failing.
Preparation, coordination and communication were the areas of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic Oliver called out, reminding viewers a nationwide pandemic response plan has been around since 2005. According to Oliver, despite the efforts of past presidents, Trump’s administration failed in all three areas.
Oliver also created a visual kaleidoscope of Trumps — all from separate past television appearances — mocking him bragging about putting a “ban on China” to keep the virus out.
Trump was slow to acknowledge the pandemic was, well, actually a pandemic, ended a pandemic early warning program and cut U.S.-based staff in China by about a third, Oliver noted — just a few actions the ‘Last Week Tonight’ host criticized during his show. Oliver also asserted that the nation’s delay in locking down the country and responding to the pandemic put the rest of the globe at risk of infection.
“Trump took an appallingly long time to take it seriously,” Oliver said about the pandemic. “Once we found out about it, we acted unforgivably slowly.”