Oliver called it "utterly infuriating" watching Trump's likely super-spreader White House event.

By Nick Romano
October 05, 2020 at 09:35 AM EDT
Credit: HBO

John Oliver knows it's been "a genuinely extraordinary week for the White House." It's been so crazy that he admits he doesn't have time on Last Week Tonight to fully address the New York Times report about President Donald Trump "paying income tax ranging from the high three figures all the way down to zero figures for multiple years," the leaked audio recording of First Lady Melania Trump saying "who gives a f--- about Christmas?" in reference to decorating the White House, or the fact that Trump didn't denounce white supremacy and militia groups during the first presidential debate.

But he did address the biggest news of the week, which was when the president and first lady contracted COVID-19, a virus Trump routinely downplayed since the beginning of the pandemic.

"It was news that felt both shocking and utterly inevitable," Oliver said, "especially given that just three days earlier he had stood on a debate stage and when asked about whether he would downplay the efficacy of masks said this."

"When needed I wear masks. I don't wear masks like him [Joe Biden]," Trump had said during the debate. "Every time you see him he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet of way from him and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."

"What are you doing?!" Oliver exclaimed. "Biden wears a mask in situations where it’s dangerous not to. I can only imagine what Trump would be like standing next to a beekeeper."

The host further condemned the White House's response to the situation with Trump. "First, the news only came out after reporters discovered that one of Trump’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, who traveled with him to the debate, had tested positive, prompting the obvious question of when the president had been exposed, and what he’d done about it. And the answers there weren't great," he said. According to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the White House knew about Hicks' symptoms on Thursday and allowed Trump to attend a fundraiser event in New Jersey that afternoon. Trump's diagnosis was made public on Friday.

"So many of the decisions that Trump and those around him made this week look absolutely appalling in hindsight, from his family refusing to wear masks at Tuesday’s debate, to failing to notify anyone on the Biden team that they may have been exposed, to the fact that the fundraiser he attended just before testing positive was a f---ing buffet," Oliver said.

After all that, what was more "utterly infuriating" to Oliver was the event held at the White House to announce Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Republicans were seen at the event without wearing masks and hugging attendees.

"There is something utterly infuriating about watching them hugging each other when many in this country haven’t seen their families for months or have died alone in a hospital," Oliver said. "And it’s not just that they’re putting themselves at risk. More importantly, it’s that they’re risking infecting others. The thing about a highly contagious virus is your recklessness can make you end up killing someone you never meet. And they’re still doing it."

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