“The main story in America right now, like most days for the past five years, is Donald J Trump,” said Trevor Noah from his couch on Tuesday’s Daily Social Distancing Show. “Ever since this epidemic began, he’s been desperate for it to miraculously resolve itself. He downplayed its severity, he said it would vanish magically in April, and lately he’s been promoting the drug chloroquine as a miracle cure.” That drug hasn’t been tested, and any evidence of its effectiveness is anecdotal.
But it’s essential for people with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and the shortage caused by Trump’s words is “so frustrating, man”, said Noah. “You know what we need to do with Donald Trump? The same way they bleep out curse words in rap videos, they need to start bleeping out Trump’s misinformation at his press briefings.”
The president has also said he wants to reassess shutdowns after two weeks of quarantine. “But, what quarantine?” Noah retorted. “Two-thirds of the American population hasn’t even been quarantined. People have been out at bars, restaurants, beaches the whole time. So, what are we reassessing after the 15 days? We’re just going to go back to normal after doing a half-ass job?
“Because some of us have been flattening the curve,” he said, gesturing to his apartment. “But you guys realize the curve can unflatten too … it’s like eating healthy. After a week, you start feeling yourself, you see results. And you’re like, ‘Oh, this is great, I can eat ice-cream again,’ and then boom – the curve is back.
“Look people, if we go back to doing nothing, the number of deaths from coronavirus could be in the millions,” Noah concluded. “And the problem with these numbers sometimes is that we think of them as numbers. Think of everybody in your life: if I said to you, ‘You could lose one or two family members,’ would you be able to choose who?”
It’s not just coronavirus patients – a run on the hospitals would endanger anyone who needs medical care. “The simplest way to think of it is this: you know how the internet crashes every time Kim Kardashian releases a new butt pic? Now imagine if she decided to release a hundred butt pics in one day. The internet would crash so hard it would delete itself and we’d go back to the stone age.”
On his 11th day of physical distancing at home, Jimmy Kimmel lamented how he has “been hearing how Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton came up with some of their greatest ideas while under quarantine during the plague”, he said. “That’s great – so far all I’ve discovered is you can slide a laundry basket down the stairs. But congratulations to them.”
Meanwhile, “some of our thickest-headed politicians have been passing the time by spreading nonsense about the coronavirus – people like lieutenant governor of Texas Dan Patrick, who floated the idea that old people are willing to go to an early grave in order to help boost the stock market”. Earlier this week, Patrick told the Fox News host Tucker Carlson that grandparents would be OK dying to protect the American economy. “If that’s the exchange, I’m all in,” he said. “And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that.”
“No, it makes you an idiot,” Kimmel retorted. “I shouldn’t say it makes you an idiot; it reveals to us that you are an idiot.
“Unfortunately, the lieutenant governor isn’t alone in this moronathon; the president of the United States also appears to be planting the seeds to a get back to work movement,” Kimmel continued, pointing to Trump’s press conference on Tuesday in which he claimed the country will be up and running again by Easter.
“By Easter? That’s in two and a half weeks!” Kimmel said. “Even Jesus is like, ‘Jesus! Calm down. Let’s think this through.’”
On his second day back to an at-home Late Night, Seth Meyers said his team was still working out the kinks in producing a remote show. “Shoutout to YouTubers who’ve been doing this a long time and making us pros look like real dopes this week,” he said. “I tip my cap.”
In lieu of his usual Closer Look segment, Meyers offered a bit called Jokes Seth Can’t Tell: “Here’s the premise, you guys: we do a lot of jokes on our show that, due to having a diverse writing staff, some of them don’t sound right coming from me, a straight white man.” So Meyers invited two of his writers, Amber Ruffin (“I’m black!” she said as her intro) and Jenny Hagel (“I’m gay!”), to tell the jokes for him.
Ruffian and Hagel riffed on a range of topics, including the new documentary on the race to put a black man in space (“A black astronaut is just like a white astronaut, except his boots are spotless,” said Ruffian), Sephora (Hagel: “‘That’s where I buy my new makeup!’ said lesbians about Walgreens”), and Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina-scented candle (“Said a lesbian coming home to her wife *sniffs* … are you cheating on me?”).
Ruffin also revealed her plan to vote on election day: “The same way all black people vote: I’m gonna call in sick, drive 50 miles to my nearest polling place, have the lady tell me my name is not on the list, insist that it is, show her my voter-registration card, shut her up, stand in line for seven hours, and then vote for someone who may or may not keep their promises to black people. That’s democracy!”