We've only been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for about four-and-a-half months, but we're already getting reruns. Donald Trump is back on his hydroxychloroquine deal, and the social media story of the week so far is that conservatives shared a video full of false claims, like that masks don't help and hydroxychloroquine is a "cure" for COVID-19 -- and then the video was taken down by every major platform, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. And of course Seth Meyers had to spend "A Closer Look" ranting about it on Wednesday.
"All the studies tell us hydroxychloroquine doesn't work, and pushing it is dangerous. Especially -- especially! -- for people who actually need it for conditions like lupus," Meyers said. "After the president began touting hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus earlier this year, lupus patients struggled to get it, with one telling USA Today that because she was unable to fill her normal prescription, she is rationing her pills, taking a half-pill every day -- a quarter of her normal dosage. That's horrible. Lupus patients basically have to microdose a life-saving medication the same way you're recently divorced aunt microdoses LSD. 'If I take the right amount, it's almost like Steve never existed in this universe.'
"And yet, because they failed on the pandemic response and because they're desperate for a magic fix that will make the crisis go away, prominent figures on the right are now pushing the discredited hydroxychloroquine video. The President's son Don Jr. had his Twitter account partially locked for 12 hours after tweeting the video to his five million followers, and then last night he went on Fox News to complain."
"Late Night" then pulled up a clip of Donald Trump Jr. chatting with Tucker Carlson and whining that Jack Tapper is allowed to tweet Washington Post articles about hydroxychloroquine, but Don Jr himself is punished for tweeting a video that is filled with verifiably false information.
"There's a huge difference between a journalist tweeting a link to a news story and what you tweeted out," Meyers said after the clip. "At least he tweeted a link to a reputable news organization reporting on a study that put the findings in proper context and used cautious language, whereas you just tweeted on a video funded by a right-wing dark-money group with a doctor calling hydroxychloroquine a quote 'cure for coronavirus.'
"A doctor, by the way, who also claims that gyneological problems are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams of demons and witches, that alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious, and the government is run in part not by humans but by reptiles and other aliens."
This doctor is, as you probably know by now, Dr. Stella Immanuel of Texas, who has been the subject of much discussion this week -- she's the one who referred to hydroxychloroquine as a "cure" for COVID-19 in the video.
"Seriously, who on Earth could possibly trust a doctor like this?" Meyers wondered allowed.
But we all know the answer to this question without having to see clips of Trump declaring that Dr. Immanuel was "spectacular" and "impressive." Nonetheless, "Late Night" had those clips ready.
"Cool, so Trump won't listen to the renowned infectious disease expert who actually works for him, but he loves the demon sperm lady. Was he like this when he lived in New York, because New York is filled with people like this. If you go to a community board meeting there's always at least one demon sperm guy," Meyers joked. as he approached the end of this latest "A Closer Look" segment.
"Dangerous coronavirus misinformation is surging on social media. It's being amplified by the president and his backers because they know they're response to the pandemic has been a colossal failure. Just step back and consider how insane this is: the president can't be bothered to focus on the things that actually work, like testing, contact tracing, isolation or mask wearing. But if a crazy person posts a video claiming lizard people are making alien vaccines his response is..." Meyers said, as a video popped up of Don Jr. saying, "That's interesting!"
You can watch all the "A Closer Look" segment from Wednesday's episode of "Late Night With Seth Meyers" in the video embedded up at the top of this article, or on YouTube here.