America’s rates of coronavirus cases continue to soar above those of other developed nations such as Canada, Trevor Noah reported on Tuesday’s Daily Show, a dismal reality partly attributable to reports over the weekend of un-distanced “Covid parties”, church services without masks and a packed Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons. “Obviously, ordinary Americans should be taking this pandemic more seriously,” said Noah. “But in their defense, it’s hard to do that when this is the guy who’s setting the tone from the top.”
Who’s Trump turning to now that he’s told Fauci to f**k off? A doctor who thinks demons watch you when you masturbate. pic.twitter.com/gkbax2w8bn— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 29, 2020
Noah referred to Donald Trump’s retweeting earlier this week of a coronavirus conspiracy video inaccurately claiming hydroxychloroquine – that old friend – as a cure for the virus. Twitter subsequently flagged and removed the video, which featured Dr Stella Immanuel, a physician in Texas with, as reported by the Daily Beast, a long history of propagating bizarre, untruthful and anti-LGBTQ medical claims, such as that gynecological conditions like endometriosis are caused by people having sex in their dreams with witches or demons. “Yes, despite having the world’s top doctors at his disposal,” said Noah, “Trump has decided instead to trust a doctor who believes that people get sick because they masturbate and that vaccines are made from alien DNA.
“And by the way, whatever you do, please don’t start running around saying that African doctors are crazy,” he added. (Immanuel was born in Cameroon and received her medical degree in Nigeria.) “This doctor, who’s from Africa, happens to be crazy. You can’t use her to judge all African doctors, the same way you wouldn’t want the world to judge America’s presidents based on one guy, would you?”
Basically, America “has two choices right now”, Noah concluded. We can “limit the spread of corona by following the science” or “listen to the advice of internet randos like Dr Demon Sperm”.
Jimmy Fallon also dug into the president’s misinformation campaign on Tuesday night. “In 14 tweets, Trump undermined Dr Fauci, dismissed face masks and boasted about hydroxychloroquine working again,” the Tonight Show host said of Trump’s Monday night Twitter spree. “What is he doing? Even flat-earthers think this guy is out of his mind.
“It’s like Crazy Trump was away for a week, and then someone said ‘hydroxychloroquine’ three times,” he added.
“It feels like we’re back to Scary Misinformation Trump. I prefer ‘Person, Man, Woman, Camera, TV’ Trump instead,” he said in reference to Trump boasting of a cognitive function test last week on Fox News. “I also liked Point to an Elephant Trump. He was fun.”
Despite the Food and Drug Administration’s disavowal of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure, “Trump won’t give up,” Fallon concluded. “He’s like your friend who never stops trying to make you watch the show they’re watching.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers checked in with the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations amid the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic. Given Trump’s bungling of the coronavirus crisis, “you could be forgiven for thinking he hasn’t been doing anything at all”, said Meyers. “However, he has been very successful at rolling back environmental regulations and weakening major conservation laws, all while Americans have been distracted by a global pandemic, because instead of pulling back on pollution when lungs are having their worst year since Mad Men went off the air, Trump has actually been doubling down on his dangerous agenda.”
During the coronavirus lockdown in the US, the Trump administration has eased fuel-efficiency standards for new cars, frozen rules for soot air pollution, and leased public property to oil and gas companies. “It’s when Trump seems to be doing nothing that he’s at his most dangerous,” said Meyers. “It’s like when your kids are upstairs and they’re super quiet for way too long – you know you’re about to wallpaper over some sharpie.”
The administration has continued to push anti-science policies despite the distraction of coronavirus, Meyers explained, which disproportionately affects people of color, and derive from Trump’s longstanding denial of climate change. “Trump’s view that global warming is a hoax is one of the only stances he’s been consistent on,” Meyers said. “That, and there’s no such thing as a tie that’s too long.”
One of the administration’s “biggest and most audacious deregulatory actions” has been to gut the National Environmental Policy Act, a 50-year-old piece of legislation which requires federal agencies consider the environmental impact of infrastructure projects before they are approved, and allows residents to weigh in. Which demands our attention, Meyers concluded, especially in an election year: “The Trump presidency will be over some day, but the sad reality is that the environmental effects will be permanent, and that becomes everyone’s problem.”