Coronavirus is “very much the Timothée Chalamet of viruses," John Oliver explained in the latest episode of Last Week Tonight on Sunday, in that "you barely had time to learn its name before" it was everywhere. And Oliver has not missed a step in covering the story of the virus over the last month and a half, crafting some of the best late night TV segments about the spread of misinformation, the plight of essential workers, and more.
For this week's focus, he took a cue from Jared Kushner, who declared victory over the virus and said that the country is ready to get “really rockin’ again." (Oliver: "It's incredible to see someone with the skin of a newborn baby birthed in a tub of Neutrogena talk like a middle-aged dad desperately trying to connect with his teenage son.") Except the country isn't quite ready to get rockin' again, because all the experts agree we still sorely lack necessary effective testing.
“Had testing caught the cases in this country early we could’ve managed the virus through contact tracing and targeted quarantine but that did not happen so the virus spread widely forcing us to use the blunt instrument of making everyone stay at home,” Oliver said. Examining the failure to get testing ready goes to the “very heart of how we got into this situation,” he said, before going on to explain the difference in diagnostic tests and antibody tests, which are not always accurate and don't guarantee immunity at this time.
“Look, some confusion is inevitable when a new disease starts spreading its way around the world," he said. "And it’s not like rolling out testing on this kind of scale was ever going to be easy. But again and again, the people in charge failed to prepare for the worst-case scenario and have been slow in fixing mistakes." In response to Kushner calling the U.S. response to coronavirus a great success story, he added, "In May, we are still playing catch-up in the middle of a pandemic, which in turn means thousands upon thousands of people dying preventable deaths. If this is a great success story for anyone, it’s for the fucking coronavirus."