Maher: Medical Establishment, Media, Gov’t Think ‘You Can’t Handle the Truth’ on COVID, Left Ended up Believing ‘a Bunch of Crap’

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher stated that the medical establishment, media, and government have taken a “you can’t handle the truth” approach on coronavirus, and “have an agenda to spin us,” Maher also said that liberal media outlets need to answer for “how did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?”

Maher began by saying, “Over the past year, the COVID pandemic has prompted the medical establishment, the media, and the government to take a scared straight approach to getting the public to comply with their recommendations. Well, I’m from a different school, give it to me straight, doc. Because in the long run, that always works better than you can’t handle the truth. … [W]hen all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us, yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the left.”

He continued, “Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble, which, of course, is very real. … And we do know conservatives have some loopy ideas about COVID, like the third of Republicans who believe it couldn’t be spread by someone showing no symptoms. But what about liberals, you know, the high-information, by-the-science people? In a recent Gallup survey, Democrats did much worse than Republicans in getting the right answer to the fundamental question, what are the chances that someone who gets COVID will need to be hospitalized? The answer is between one and five percent. 41% of Democrats thought it was over 50%. Another 28% put the chances at 20 to 49. So almost 70% of Democrats are wildly off on this key question, and also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID to, and the mortality rate among, children. All of which explains why today the states with the highest share of schools that are still closed are all blue states. So, if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for, how did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?”

Maher added, “A new report in the Atlantic says the media won’t stop putting pictures of the beach on stories about COVID, even though it’s looking increasingly like the beach is the best place to avoid it. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and Vitamin D is the key to a robust immune system. Texas lifted its COVID restrictions recently, and their infection rates went down, in part because of people getting outside to let the sun and wind do their thing. But to many liberals, that can’t be right. Because Texas and beach-loving Florida have Republican governors. But life is complicated. I’ve read that the governor of Florida reads. I know we like to think of Florida as only middle school teachers on bath salts having sex with their students in front of an alligator. But apparently, the governor is also a voracious consumer of the scientific literature, and maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York. Those are just facts. I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them. Look, here’s what I’m saying, I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions and now that everything is politics, that’s all we do. If their side says COVID is nothing, our side has to say it’s everything. Trump said it would go away ‘like a miracle,’ and we said it was World War Z.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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