Seth Meyers has continued to shoot “Late Night” from his house, switching up which room he’s in every day — on Thursday, it was his attic. But he hasn’t changed much else about his show, and that means he’s continuing to do his popular “A Closer Look” segment. And this time out he had plenty to say about the ongoing problems the Trump administration is having with its response to the coronavirus pandemic, along with a special comment about Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and presidential adviser.
“We’re all bracing for a very difficult few weeks or months, but there are things that federal government could be doing right now to help us get through this. Instead, the president has essentially abdicated his responsibility and left the states up to themselves,” Meyers said to open the segment, which you can watch in full in the video embedded above.
“A pandemic like this requires a centralized federal response. You know how Republicans always complain about big government? Well, how sweet would a big government be right now? Because I don’t know about you, but this tiny government stuff sucks. It’s like being on the top floor of a burning building but instead of a catch net the fireman show up with a little workout trampoline. Feels like right now, we’ve largely been left to fend for ourselves.”
Later in the segment, Meyers went in on Trump and Kushner over the trouble that states are having obtaining new ventilators for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. That whole situation is a mess right now, with state governments just having to get more on their own.
“Late Night” showed a brief montage of governors discussing the sort of backroom deals and bidding wars they’re having, what with the dramatic shortage the U.S. is currently facing.
“Governors are comparing buying life saving ventilators for a pandemic to surge pricing. This is capitalism at its absolute worst,” Meyers said. “While Trump waits for the market to decide, people are literally going to die and states are getting ripped off like they’re trying to call an Uber in the town after a Broadway show. And even worse, the ventilators come with a driver who won’t stop trying to make conversation even though you’re very clearly trying to take a nap.”
On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported on a sort of shadow coronavirus task force in the White House led by Jared Kushner, crediting Kushner for Trump’s stance that New York doesn’t need as many ventilators as the state requested.
“I have all this data about ICU capacity. I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators,” Kushner said, according to the Vanity Fair report. And Meyers needled Kushner for it.
“And you’ll never guess who’s in charge of this s— show: the guy Slenderman has nightmares about, Jared Kushner. That’s right, the real Slim Shady has been put in charge of the ventilator problem, and after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said publicly his state needed 30,000 more ventilators, apparently Kushner pushed back. Kushner told people that Cuomo was being an alarmist.”
After describing the report a bit, Meyers continued: “Oh, you’re doing your own projections? Did your parents just buy you a TI-84? You’re not qualified to do anything, let alone tell New York how many ventilators they need. You’re a nepotism case, and you only got the White House job because you married into the family and because the security guards believed your fake ID.”
“Late Night” then cut to this image.
Meyers ended the segment by reminding his audience that, you know, this whole thing could have been handled better by the government.
“I hope when the time for accountability comes we can all remember that it didn’t have to be like this. Other countries responded to this pandemic with confidence and they avoided the worst,” he said.
“Now we’re bracing for an unimaginable tragedy, and as we speak the president is leaving besieged states and hospitals to fend for themselves, putting lives at risk.”