With Election Day so close we can almost taste it, John Oliver entered his blank void and did something that he hasn’t done in months: fully dedicate his Last Week Tonight episode to the coronavirus pandemic, which is still reaching deadly new milestones across the country under Donald Trump’s leadership — many cases of which are directly tied to the president himself. Oliver couldn’t be bothered to name every “massive fuckup” that Trump has willed into existence since March, so he’ll just admire America’s cousins instead. “Other countries have done more and suffered less,” Oliver explained. “We have four times more people than Germany, but 17 times the COVID cases; we have three and a half times more people than Vietnam, but 7,500 times the COVID cases. This wasn’t inevitable. Look, I shouldn’t have to take 20 minutes to tell you that Trump mismanaged the pandemic. In a lot of ways, the answer to the question ‘Has Trump done a good job handling this pandemic?’ is, ‘Well, he got the disease, so, you know!’”
While Oliver acknowledges that a Joe Biden victory won’t “magically” end the pandemic, at least he knows Biden would take it “seriously” upon being elected, unlike a certain orange chap. “It’s pretty bleak that that alone sounds good. But it really does,” Oliver said. “Because at this point, Trump is clearly bored of hearing about COVID. And I’m sorry about that. But you know what’s been completely exhausting for the rest of us? Worrying about it all the time.” This feeling hasn’t escaped Oliver since March, as several of his Last Week Tonight staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus and suffered through long periods of symptoms.
“It was heart-wrenching being constantly concerned about their health,” he explained. “And that concern hasn’t gone away. There are long-term and devastating effects for many who have recovered that we still don’t fully understand. People who are sick and dying can’t see their families, and cases are now spiking to record highs all over the country. This virus has taken so much from us: our peace of mind, our routines, and nearly a quarter of a million Americans. And it’s frankly pathetic that, in response, the only things Trump has offered people in this country over the past eight months are damaging lies, staggering incompetence, and occasionally, when he’s feeling generous, some shitty fucking pens.” And for those who still think Trump has been great for comedians, Oliver will leave you with this final sound bite: “Not really! This has been a fucking nightmare.”