Most of the late night television shows are shutting down production in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but John Oliver was able to squeeze out one more episode last night all about how the government is handling the outbreak, how they’re not, and what we can do to help. Speaking in front of a blank white background, Oliver acknowledged how weird the circumstances around the episode were: “Both the place where we normally tape on Sunday [the CBS Broadcast Center in NYC] and our office building had confirmed cases of coronavirus this week, so our staff has been working from home, and we’re currently taping this somewhere else with a very limited crew.”
As one YouTube commenter put it, "This is so weird, without the audience, it's just a sad British dude telling how us the world is dying."
“This was the week that the coronavirus, for many people here in the U.S., seemed to go from an abstraction to a very real threat," he said. Much of his segment was focused on the Trump administration's handling of the situation throughout the past week, and how Trump refused to push for aggressive additional testing early on. “That is not only catastrophic…it’s also deeply frustrating, especially when you see how quickly other countries, including South Korea, ramped up their testing capabilities,” he said. “Nothing is fine here. The president’s response has sadly been characterized by disorganization and lies.”
Ultimately, Oliver's advice to people is to tune out the president and the misinformation he has been spreading: “Don’t worry, there is going to be ample time to be utterly furious with him later. But the fact is, even though this should not be the case, it seems we’re going to be a little bit on our own here.”
Instead, he said "pay attention to trustworthy information from the CDC, experts like Anthony Fauci, and of course TikTok hamsters. Always, TikTok hamsters." He noted at the end that, as with the other late night shows, this will likely be the last Last Week Tonight for some time.