Alec Baldwin Says ‘SNL’ Wouldn’t Mock Trump’s COVID Diagnosis If He Were in ‘Serious Trouble’ (Video)

“We only have the words of the White House itself and the people who work there themselves to go on,” Baldwin says

Last Updated: October 5, 2020 @ 11:47 AM

Alec Baldwin says that if President Donald Trump were in “serious trouble,” “Saturday Night Live” would not have opened its 46th season with a joke about his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

The cold open for the NBC sketch show’s season kickoff Saturday was a parody of Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s first presidential debate, featuring Baldwin reprising his role as POTUS and Jim Carrey debuting his impression of Obama’s former VP. The sketch, which aired a day after Trump revealed he’d tested positive for the coronavirus, largely avoided the topic of the president’s health, despite one line where Baldwin said the “China virus is a hoax,” and quickly added, “that will probably come back to haunt me later this week.”

Baldwin said in a video posted to Instagram on Sunday that he saw “considerable criticism” on social media from viewers who thought the joke was in poor taste following Trump’s Friday hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which the White House said was “out of an abundance of caution.”

“The stuff that gets turned down, you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff that people propose, it’s outrageous. And this is a group of people that’s pretty savvy. They know they’re in network television,” Baldwin said, praising longtime “SNL” showrunner Lorne Michaels. “He is one of the smartest people in the business… And they know they don’t want to sink the ship. So if there was ever the suggestion that Trump was truly, gravely ill, if people said, ‘Oh, Trump is really in trouble,’ then I bet you everything I have that we wouldn’t even get near that in terms of the content of the show. They would have done something else.”

Baldwin said he’s seen that “happen before.”

“I’ve seen instances where there were wars going on and they said, ‘Don’t do sketches where you sound like you’re disseminating information,’ as far-fetched as that sounds,” he said.

The “30 Rock” alum added: “We only have the words of the White House itself and the people who work there themselves to go on. And all of them have been saying that he is not in any danger. We only have their word to go by. And if their word had been that he was in serious trouble, then we probably wouldn’t have done it. But that’s not the case. If they had said he was in serious trouble, I can assure you we wouldn’t have done it, but that’s not the case. They said he’s got this disease and he’s got some manifestations of it and some symptoms of it, but he’s going to be fine and he’s not in any immediate danger.”

Watch Baldwin’s video below.