Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a shout out to New Yorkers Friday night, saying, “We asked them to do something unimaginable” – social distancing in the most crowed place in the country. The Mayor appeared on HBO’s virtually reconstituted Real Time with Bill Maher just as things in the Big Apple – the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus pandemic – were looking a teeny bit brighter.
“Hospitalizations … are growing less. The use of ventilators was sky high. Now it’s lower,” he told Maher. “We are still seeing more cases each day than the day before. But “folks in this city did something mentally and logistically tough … and that’s why our health care leadership believes some of these numbers are slowing down.”
The second pandemic-infused episode of Real Time again starts out in Maher’s backyard where the host delivered his opening monologue in the rain under a big umbrella. He was not happy wet and sheltering in place. “Last night I was so lonely I had a home invader and I said, ‘Look, you’re already here, stay for dinner.’”
The Vice President and founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project Al Gore, who video-d in after, noted a clear parallel between the pandemic and climate change – don’t’ wait until it’s too late. “The real connection is that scientists have warned us about the coronavirus and the climate crisis, and we have seen what happens when you wait too long to heed the warnings.”
Maher and Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group and GZERO Media and television host, were relieved together that President Trump seems so interested in deflecting blame for the crisis that he’s missing the perfect opportunity for an authoritarian power grab many had feared, like what Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Oban is doing, using COVID-19 to extend a state of emergency and crush minorities.
Trump is “so interested in avoiding any kind of accountability that he is acting as a weak president. Interesting,” Maher said.
He checked in with comedian and SiriusXM’s host Nikki Glaser at her parent’s house in St. Louis where she was smoking a lot of pot and weaning herself of antidepressants in case she might not be able to find any more. “A month ago I had two TV shows in development. This Saturday I am throwing a Taylor Swift dance party on Zoom for charity. Things have taken a turn,” she said.
Maher, no matter how damp and down, can still lob political zingers. “Bernie Sanders supporters … did not expect Bernie to quit,” he said. “They said it just proves he is part of the conspiracy against Bernie Sanders.”
“So the fate of the world rests on Joe Biden. The force of light – or as the Jedi call him, Obi-Wan where am I?’”