On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver touched on how there are many people around the world — not just the U.S. — are defying stay-at-home orders. He showed footage of costumed characters in Peru who were arrested for having a Mother’s Day parade before he went into a potpourri of COVID-19-related news.
He touched on Dr. Rick Bright’s eye-opening and disturbing testimony before Congress last week where the ousted director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)-turned-whistleblower called out the Trump administration’s missed opportunities when the coronavirus pandemic first started.
In particular, Bright addressed the manufacturer of PPE, Mike Bowen and that supplies were “completely decimated.” He added that Bowen said, “We are in deep shit… the world is…and we need to act.”
“It feels like as time goes on, we’re about to find out more clear warning signs that the Trump administration flat out ignored,” Oliver said.
Amidst all of this, Oliver said that Trump, who should be “laser-focused” on the pandemic, decided to take a break to reveal the new flag for Space Force while standing way to close to someone. He also shared information about his “super duper missile”.
“We are the leader in space,” Trump said in a news clip.
Oliver quipped, “He truly has the spirit, brain, appetite, temper, patience and wit of a child that you hate.”
The host then pivoted to North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who is under investigation by the FBI. Last week, his cell phone was seized on the suspicion that he used non-public information on coronavirus briefings to dump shares ahead of the market crash.
Oliver said that the details of all of this do not look good and it is “pretty damning.” Before the market stumbled, Burr and members of Senate were told in a February briefing about the potential impact of the crisis to come. A day after, Burr sold up to $1.7 million in stock including shares in the travel and hotel industry.
“The only way that could have been shadier is if Burr bought shares in the actual coronavirus,” said Oliver.
Burr insists that he did nothing wrong and based his actions on news. Oliver points out his suspicious past which includes his position on the Stock Act, which forbids members of Congress from trading on non-public information they learn on the job. He was one of three Senators to vote against it. Oliver also poked fun at Burr’s choice to never wear socks or how he always goes “foot commando.”
Oliver likens Burr’s current predicament to the federal government’s situation, saying “He got information about the coronavirus early, there are lots of questions about what he did with it and now he is, if I may quote the testimony of a very tired public health official, ‘in deep shit’.”