John Oliver praises tiny hamster's social distancing tactics over Trump's coronavirus response
The Last Week Tonight host — who broadcast Sunday's episode of his HBO series without a live audience before joining other late-night shows in going on hiatus as the virus spreads — preached healthy hygiene practices to viewers, allowing a small rodent's social distancing practices (as seen in a video on TikTok) to lead by example instead of subscribing to President Donald Trump's response to the pandemic thus far.
"At this point, it might really be best for us to put the president aside," Oliver said. "Even though this should not be the case, it seems we're going to be a little bit on our own, here. Because of that, it might be worth going over some basic rules that health experts say we should all absolutely be following."
Oliver then played the TikTok clip showing a hamster following recommended protocols, including practicing social distancing, washing its hands for 20 seconds, coughing into a (super small) tissue, and wearing a mask only when symptoms arise.
"It is truly sad that a hamster just genuinely offered more useful public health advice in one 12-second TikTok than the president has in multiple addresses to the nation," Oliver observed, seemingly referencing things like Trump's insistence on blaming former President Barack Obama's administration for testing shortages and his mischaracterization of travel restrictions he's imposing on some European countries.
"Social distancing is absolutely crucial right now," Oliver continued, adding that it's vital to "slow the spread of the virus so we don't overwhelm the healthcare system" when our most vulnerable members of society need it.
"We only have so many ventilators and hospital beds, and if cases spike all at once, they could max out our capacity," he finished. "It is imperative that we spread cases out over a longer period of time so that everyone who needs care can get it."
Watch Oliver discuss the ongoing coronavirus outbreak above.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver