John Oliver slams 'fear baboon' Tucker Carlson and more 'superspreaders' of vaccine misinformation
John Oliver dedicated his main segment on Sunday's installment of Last Week Tonight to dispelling myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines and calling out the "superspreaders" who are fueling those falsehoods.
Specifically, Oliver blasted Fox News' "scrunch-faced fear baboon" Tucker Carlson, "human football" radio host Alex Jones of the far-right "neon scream hour" called InfoWars, and "f---ing moron" podcaster Joe Rogan.
The late-night star noted "the disturbing amount of vaccine hesitancy right now." He cited studies that showed 18 percent of the American population said they would "maybe" get the vaccine, while 22 percent said, "no," they wouldn't. A separate study stated 30 percent of Republicans said they won't get the vaccine.
"It's not hard to see why because fears and doubts about the vaccine have flown around conservative media with one of the most prominent superspreaders being this f---ing guy," Oliver said of Carlson.
The show switched to a montage of Tucker Carlson Tonight segments in which its host questioned the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. "It is genuinely weird to see someone hosting a show on a supposed news network and ending every sentence with a question mark," Oliver said, "especially when answers to most of those questions are out there for anyone who cares to know."
In one clip, Carlson suggested the vaccines don't work because those who are vaccinated are still recommended to wear masks and maintain social distancing. The reason for that, Oliver retorted, "is that the CDC is being cautious and wants to be sure that it is not spreading bulls--- around during a global pandemic like a frozen dinner duke with a TV show. Anyway, I hope that answers at least one of your gape-mouthed bad-faith wonderings, Tucker, you scrunch-faced fear baboon."
Last Week Tonight also featured clips of Jones claiming to have "studies" and evidence that prove most people who got vaccinated will die within 10 years while others will suffer neurological effects.
"Man, Alex Jones is having a blast, isn't he?" Oliver said. "No one else has as much fun while making the world a worse place to live in. It's like he invented a jetpack that sprays everyone beneath him with human s---."
The host addressed how Johnson & Johnson recalled its vaccine after finding a rare side effect in certain individuals that caused blood clots. The vaccine was later reissued. "While some vaccine skeptics pointed to that as evidence that they were right about vaccines being dangerous, in reality it kind of proves the opposite, that the safety risk of vaccines is rigorously and publicly analyzed, not secretly buried and somehow leaked to the human football's neon scream hour," Oliver said, referring to Jones.
Rogan was another who came under fire for comments he made about the vaccine. In an April episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, he said, "If you're like 21 years old and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?' I'll go, 'No.' If you're a healthy person and you're exercising all the time and you're young and you're eating well, I don't think you need to worry about this."
Rogan later backpedaled in a video he shared online, saying he is "not an anti-vax person."
"I'm not a doctor, I'm a f---ing moron and I'm a cage fighting commentator who's a dirty stand-up comedian who just told you I'm drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed. But I'm not a respected source of information, even for me."
Oliver referenced these comments on Last Week Tonight by saying, "Stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you, he's a 'f---ing moron' — and those are his words, not mine."
"If you're thinking, 'Yeah, I'm not sure I'll need [the vaccine]. Joe Rogan says I'm probably fine,' It is true. You might not get seriously sick from COVID — or indeed sick at all — but you could still inadvertently pass it to someone who could then die," Oliver remarked. "And before you say, 'Well, vulnerable people should just get vaccinated then,' the vaccines are only 95 percent effective… So, they'll probably be okay, but maybe not. Also, the more the virus circulates, the likelier we'll see mutations that make it more dangerous, possibly helping it to evade the vaccine completely, putting us all the way back to square one, so get the f---ing vaccine."
Watch the full segment in the video above.