On Thursday’s Late Night, Seth Meyers turned his trademark Closer Look to the dire shortage of ventilators and the negligent federal response, advised by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to address the problem. “We have a situation where states are begging for life-saving ventilators and the Trump team is in disarray,” Meyers explained.
“Governors are literally outbidding each other on the open market, and dealing with shady middlemen and price gouging to buy ventilators wherever they can get them,” Meyers said. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, compared the experience to eBay; Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont, said it was like Uber surge pricing, except “at the last moment, the car drives away because somebody has outbid you”.
“That’s right, governors are comparing buying life-saving ventilators for a pandemic to surge pricing,” Meyers said. “This is capitalism at its absolute worst. While Trump waits for the market to decide, people are literally going to die, and states are getting ripped off like they’re trying to call an Uber in the rain in midtown after a Broadway show.
“And you’ll never guess who’s in charge of this shitshow,” Meyers continued. “The guy Slenderman has nightmares about: Jared Kushner.” Kushner reportedly pushed back on Cuomo’s request for 30,000 ventilators; he called Cuomo an alarmist and said in a White House meeting: “I have all this data about ICU capacity. I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.”
“Oh, you’re doing your own projections? Did your parents just buy you a TI-84 [graphing calculator]?” Meyers retorted. “You’re not qualified to do anything, let alone tell New York how many ventilators they need. You’re a nepotism case, and you only got the White House job because you married into the family, and because the security guards believed your fake ID.
“I hope when the time for accountability comes, we can all remember that it didn’t have to be like this,” Meyers concluded, noting that countries such as South Korea and Iceland have contained their coronavirus outbreaks better than the US. “Other countries responded to this pandemic with competence, and they avoided the worst. Now, we’re bracing for an unimaginable tragedy and as we speak, the president is leaving besieged states and hospitals to fend for themselves, putting lives at risk.”
On A Late Show, Stephen Colbert noted that “every member of my family has been terrific” on his first week of home-produced TV (including his affable spaniel, Benny) “which statistically means I’m the bad roommate. But what are we going to do? We have no choice. Right now, inside is the place to be, because the news from the outside is alarming.” The government this week predicted a coronavirus death toll of between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. “That’s why it is so important that everyone stay safe, stay focused and stay inside.
“And I know you, the American people, get it,” Colbert continued, “but some of our elected officials are slow on the uptake.” Republican governors in 11 states have still refused to issue stay-at-home orders. “They’re defiant to the end,” Colbert said, though some are coming around, such as Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who finally ordered people home on Thursday, citing the president’s “demeanor the last couple days”.
“So it wasn’t the data, or the scientists – it was Trump’s demeanor,” Colbert said. “How does that work? Is he the coronavirus groundhog?”
Meanwhile, Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, started taking things seriously because “we didn’t know until yesterday” that asymptomatic people can spread the virus (it’s been widely known for months). “You didn’t know that until yesterday? It’s all anyone’s been talking about since January!” Colbert exclaimed. “You’re like a guy saying: ‘You know, I finally started watching this Game of Thrones. No one told me there were dragons in it! This is a game-changer.’”
Gun sales are up, jobs are down, and Dr. Fauci is assigned a security detail. pic.twitter.com/uFCRZIgz9C— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 3, 2020
And on the Daily Social Distancing Show, Trevor Noah discussed the breakout media figure of America’s pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci, “the man whose calm leadership during this crisis has won him the respect of all intelligent people and President Trump”, said Noah. Fauci has reportedly been assigned a security detail due to conspiracy-related threats.
“Now, unfortunately, getting threats is fairly standard for anyone in the public eye,” said Noah. “But what’s not standard is that Dr Fauci is also receiving lots of ‘unwelcome communications from fervent admirers’. Yes, that’s a nice way to say that your groupies are crazy. And who would’ve thought one day we’d be living in a world where the whole planet would be grounded, and an epidemiologist would be the hottest man on earth.
“People are just like: ‘I gotta get me some of that Fauci. You know he got that vaccine, girl,’” Noah continued. “Who’s sexier than Fauci? No one’s sexier. If People magazine doesn’t put him on the cover, they’re wasting their lives.”