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John Oliver Goes Deep on The Coronavirus: 'Don't Be An Idiot,' He Says to a Nation Full of Idiots

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | March 2, 2020 |

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | March 2, 2020 |


Here’s what we know about the coronavirus:

— There are 3,000 reported deaths from the virus worldwide.

— Twelve states in the U.S. have confirmed cases that have resulted in two deaths.

— The best way to avoid contracting the virus is to limit physical interaction with people possibly exposed, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands often and thoroughly.

What do we know besides that? Not very f*cking much.

Clearly part of the reason we don’t actually know that much is that despotic or wannabe despotic governments are actively attempting to hide the severity of the virus and their own inept handling of the situation, or their own attempts to handle the situation ineptly but are somehow screwing up because they’re too inept to be inept. Their own ineptitude has created a bizarre situation where we assume government figures are lying to us, because they are, so we don’t trust what they’re saying because it’s a lie, but if you can’t trust the people in charge of a situation to give you straight information and reliable direction what the hell do you even do anymore?

But a much bigger part of the reason is that we were well and screwed as a country long before Trump squirmed his way into the Presidency (sorry for that phrasing, but also you’re welcome). Because, to steal a line directly from my friend and colleague Ciara Wardlow, “The coronavirus is just a virus. The real villain of the story is our horrendous healthcare system and abusive workplace practices that will turn the situation into a crisis.” See, much like the results of the primary tomorrow, we really don’t have any idea what’s going to happen. We’ve got a certain amount of information and some real solid suggestions for how to address both situations (Vote Warren!), but all of the information is essentially useless if it doesn’t accurately predict how real-life humans will react to each situation. Basically, we can tell people to stay home if they’re not feeling well in order to reduce the spread of this and, you know, a bunch of other illnesses, but there’s absolutely no way to ensure that they’ll do that if they literally can’t afford to take the time off. Or, as my other friend and colleague Genevieve Burgess put it, “lol, we’re all only as healthy as the fast-food worker who can’t afford to miss a shift.”

So, yeah, it’d be great to have a president whom we could trust to tell us the truth about how difficult the situation we’re facing really is and to be competent enough to put people in charge who can handle that situation, but it’s still totally worthless if we don’t have a system in place that would be able to properly implement the necessary actions to contain said virus. It’s almost like the entire system needs to change in order to make any serious improvements and that replacing the terrible horror that occupies the White House won’t actually accomplish anything if the new person occupying the White House, regardless of how great, can only make the currently unbearable system slightly more bearable oh no, look, I accidentally dropped another video clumsy me.

Anyway, #EatTheRich #TakeTheSenate #She’sElectableIfYouVoteForHer

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Header Image Source: HBO