-Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another editionof “Late Night” in a makeshift home studio.
And as you can see, we'retrying yet another location in my house.
We had been shootingin a garage, but we abandoned thatbecause it was so cold that by the end of Monday's”Closer Look, ” my nose was redderthan a cartoon drunk.
I mean, look at that thing.
It was like”Late Night with Andy Capp.
” No, I never would have madean Andy Capp reference in front of a live audiencebecause silence would have been deafening, but these days that'sthe reaction to everything.
So I figured, you know, why not let it rip? So today we're giving it a shotfrom a crawl space in the attic, and when I told my 4-year-oldDaddy was going up to the attic for a while, he saidthe cutest thing.
“If you and Mom are gettinga divorce, just tell us.
” Kids, right? And it looks like I'll be doingthese shows from home for a while now thatthe president has extended the social distancing guidelinesto the end of April while he and allies tryto memory-hole their early dismissalof the coronavirus outbreak.
For more on this, it's time for “A Closer Look.
” ♪♪ Donald Trump has triedrepeatedly to claim that no one could have seenthis crisis coming, even though he wasrepeatedly warned in intelligence briefingsin January and February that it was coming.
In fact, the “New York Times”reported Tuesday that White House economistspublished a study last September that warneda pandemic disease could kill a half million Americansand devastate the economy.
It went unheeded insidethe administration.
“Unheeded” is a generousdescription.
In reality, what probablyhappened was an economist put the studyon Trump's desk and said, “Sir, you should read this, ” and he said, “What is it, nerd?” And then the economist said, “It's about a possiblepandemic.
” And Trump said, “What's a pandemic, Poindexter?” And then the economist said, “A pandemic is whena disease spreads, ” and before he could finish, Trump was asleep on his desk with a Burger King wrapperstuck to his face.
And of course it went unheeded.
Trump doesn't heed.
He doesn't heed the law.
He doesn't heed advice.
And he especially doesn'theed studies.
In fact, he makes itactively harder for everyone elseto heed studies.
For example, at his pressconference Tuesday night, he turned the mic overto task force coordinator Dr.
Deborah Birx, who tookthe room of reporters through a series of importantslides of valuable data, and Trump just wandered over and stood right in frontof the screen.
“Hey, man, we're trying to read.
Get out of the way.
” “Should I stand right herein front of the screen so you can't read it? Is that helpful, Dr.
Birx? Maybe I'll stand in front of thepart that represents the time I should have done somethingwhen I didn't do anything? What do you think, Fauci? Oh, oh, I got you again, Fauci.
I got you to touchyour face again.
Oh, this is my favorite game, Fauci, and I always win.
I'm just kidding, we're pals.
Trump and Fauci, the original Lenny and Squiggy.
That's what people say.
” Seriously, man, the only reason anyone tunes in tothese briefings is to hear thescientists.
They're the featurepresentation.
You're a dancing box of popcornsinging — ♪ Let's go out to the lobby ♪ ♪ Let's go outto the lobby ♪ ♪ Let's go out to the lobby ♪ ♪ And ignore thisterrifying data ♪ And that wasn't the only warningthe Trump administration got.
In fact, before Trumpeven took office, President Obama's outgoing teamtried to prepare Trump and his aides for a scenarioexactly like this one.
-Days before Donald Trumptook office, some of President Obama'sadvisers walked the incomingpresident's team through a hypothetical scenarioremarkably like the one we're living through now.
It was a briefing on what wouldhappen if a quick-spreading virus were to race throughLondon and Seoul, and in that scenariothey presented governments imposing travel bans, there were shortages athospitals across the country, and today, roughly two-thirds ofthose Trump administration officials who participatedin that simulation are no longer in government.
-Of course they aren't.
This administration runs throughemployees faster than an ice cream shopon the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Someone should have runa simulation for what happens when an egomaniac firesevery staff member who ever disagrees with him.
“After three years, the simulation does show it will be down to you, a professional liar, and a Victorian-erateenage ghost.
” I mean, Trump has had four, four Chiefs of Staff in four years, and the currentone, Mark Meadows, officially startedon the job yesterday.
Man, what a time to startworking for this White House.
“All right, show meto my new office.
” “I can't, it's been turnedinto a field hospital.
Also, you're thesurgeon general now.
” And what's his next move, zookeeper at Joe Exotic's animal park? And even if the officialsin that briefing were still in government, I bet they didn'tlearn anything anyway because Trump was standingdirectly in front of the screen.
So Trump had many warnings that something like thiswas coming, and yet he and his aidesrepeatedly downplayed or dismissed the threat.
He said cases wouldgo down to zero, that it would miraculouslydisappear, and compared it to the flueven though coronavirus is much more infectiousand much deadlier.
-This is a flu.
This is like a flu.
You treat this like a flu.
It's a little like the regularflu that we have flu shots for.
And we'll essentially havea flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.
The flu in our country kills from 25, 000 peopleto 69, 000 people a year.
That was shocking to me.
Over the last ten years, we've lost 360, 000.
These are peoplethat have died from the flu, from what we call the flu.
-What do you mean, what we call the flu? It's the flu.
We all call it the flu.
Trump talks about regular words like they're complicatedmedical jargon.
“We in the scientific communitycall it the flu.
It's called that because itstarted over in Europe and then it flew here.
” Also basically everything hesaid in that clip was wrong.
Turns out you aren'tan expert in science just because you look likea science experiment.
He's like a bunch of body partsa dead gangster has sewn togetherand brought to life by a guy who went to schoolwith Dr.
Frankenstein but dropped outsophomore year.
I can just see himbeing tormented by villagers with torches –“Ah, fire bad, but not that bad, basicallythe same as the flu.
Ah!” Trump should be in a documentarywhere Jane Goodall teaches himsign language.
“Donald, can you say the words'distribution emergency'?” -Distribution evergency.
-And then less than a month ago, Trump tweeted, “So last year 37, 000 Americansdied from the common flu.
It averages between 27, 000and 70, 000 per year.
Nothing is shut down.
Life and the economy go on.
At this moment there are546 confirmed cases of coronaviruswith 22 deaths.
Think about that.
” Any time a world-renowned idiotlike Donald Trump tells you to think about that, that's your cue to exit the conversation.
He's like the dumbest guyat a cocktail party trying to make conversationby telling you something he readon a Snapple cap.
“Broccoli, you know, onlyvegetable that's also a flower, so, that's somethingto think about.
” Of course, the lie thatcoronavirus is just like the flu did obvious damage.
You know how many people heardthat and then repeated it? Even if you hated Donald Trump and knew not to trusta word he said, everyone hadthat one friend or relative on the text chain who said, “You know, it'snot going to be so bad.
It's going to be like the flu.
” Or I should say, “It's going to be like what we call the flu.
” And now that his White House isprojecting as many as 100, 000 to 200, 000 deathsfrom the coronavirus, Trump has once againshifted his tone.
-I've had many friends, businesspeople, people with great actuallycommon sense, they said, “Why don't we ride it out?” A lot of people have said, a lotof people have thought about it, “Ride it out, don't do anything, just ride it out and think of it as the flu.
” But it's not the flu.
-You're the one who saidit was the flu.
Those friends of yours were you.
Or more likely, your otherpersonalities.
That's serious Trump, angry Trump, sweaty Trump, and silly Trump.
“And they all told methis is just like the flu.
Silly Trump even said it withan old-timey car horn.
[ Horn honks ][ Laughs ] Oh, Silly Trump, you're incorrigible.
” And then Trump tried to claimthat despite repeatedly ignoring the problem, failing to surgehospital capacity, and falling behindon testing which inhibited our ability to traceand quarantine cases the way South Korea did, his administration actually deserved credit for bringingthe projected death toll down to only 100, 000to 200, 000.
-What do the models suggestis on the low end if you have full mitigation? -It says 100, 000 to 200, 000.
Anything — it's a lotof people, right? It's a lot of people.
Well, you didn't askthe other question — What would have happened –because this is the question that I've been asking Dr.
Birx for a long time, and they've been workingon this for a long time — The question is, what would havehappened if we did nothing? -That is what you did.
You did nothing, and you do nothing.
You work less than CBD oil.
And doing nothing is the onlything you're good at.
Even when you had your own gameshow, you were only on it for like five minutesat the end.
You were Alex Trebek if he onlyshowed up for Final Jeopardy! “Let's take a look at thosescores, and, yikes, looks like someone doesn't knowtheir potent potables.
” And really it's a shameyou're president right now because both you're deeplyill-equipped for the job and because if you weren'tpresident, you would have been greatat quarantine.
All you'd have to do issit at home, order takeout, watch TV, and tweetlike the rest of us, and those are allyour favorite things.
You would have killed itin quarantine.
President Hillary Clinton wouldhave held you up as an example of how to do social distancing.
“We all have to follow theadvice of doctors and stay at home, just like Donald Trump, who is currently sittingin his pajamas watching a rerun of “Maury”and tweeting, “Colonel Sanders should bepromoted to General Sanders.
He is a national hero.
” And yet, because he managed torestrain himself for an hour after weeks of liesand serial failures that led us to thisharrowing moment, some in the media were actuallygullible enough after four yearsto give Trump credit for his change of tone.
-President Trump just momentsago with a somber tone.
-Now, for his part, and this gets to the tone and demeanor change, Trump warned that thenext two weeks would be tough.
-It was a very sober presidentthat we saw.
-The president did strikea very somber tone in his latest briefing.
-This was a differentDonald Trump tonight.
-My God, these people could befooled by Jeffrey Dahmer.
“This is not Jeffrey Dahmerthe crazed murderer.
This was a more serious Dahmer, just quietly home-cookinga meal for one.
” Of course it was a differentDonald Trump.
It's a different Donald Trumpevery night, which means it's always the sameDonald Trump.
He never fundamentally changeswho he is as a person.
He just swings wildlyback and forth from one extremeto the other.
He's like a werewolf but forthe sun instead of the moon.
But Trump isn't the only onetrying to memory-hole his initial responseto the crisis.
There's also one of his closestand most loyal defenders on TV, Sean Hannity.
A few weeks ago, Hannity tried to claim he was taking thesituation seriously.
And on Monday he actuallyaccused others in the media of spreadingconspiracy theories.
-This program has always takenthe coronavirus seriously.
And we've never calledthe virus a hoax.
How does anyone trust theoutright conspiracy theorists, that whole network full of lies, conspiracy theories? -Dude, all you do isspread conspiracy theories.
You're like Alex Jones withoutthe brain pills.
In fact, you should probablytake some.
Your network spent yearspromoting insane conspiracy theoriesfrom death panels to birtherism tononexistent voter fraud.
Fox has even interviewedan actual lizard person.
And in particular, in this particular case, Hannity lined up behind Trumpduring his early claim that the coronaviruswas no big deal, using the word “hoax”to describe criticism of Trump's responseand even suggesting at one point that it might be a deep-stateplot to destroy the economy.
-They are now sadlypoliticizing and actually weaponizing an infectiousdisease, in what is basicallyjust the latest effort to bludgeon President Trump.
They're scaring the living hellout of people.
And I see it again as, like, “Oh, let's bludgeon Trumpwith this new hoax.
” There's an MIT guy I noticedon Twitter, he said, quote, “Coronavirus fearmongeringby the deep state will go down in history as one of the biggestfrauds to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, and pushmandated medicines.
” May be true.
-You're not a news showif you end your segment with “May be true.
” That's a taglineyou get at 2:00 A.
after one of those showsabout ancient aliens teaching the Aztecshow to grow grain.
“May be true.
Probably bull [bleep].
” Seriously, we should getTrump in there to stand in front ofHannity during a show.
So one more time, side by side, here is Sean Hannity.
-They're scaring the livinghell out of people, and I see it again as like, “Oh, let's bludgeon Trumpwith this new hoax.
” This program has always takenthe coronavirus seriously and we've never called the virusa hoax.
-Man, that takes some balls.
If Donald Trump turned out to bean incredible president who brought the countrytogether, I'd eat my words.
I wouldn't sit here and swear that I never once saidhe should be in a documentary where Jane Goodall teaches himsign language.
Trump should be in a documentary where Jane Goodallteaches him sign language.
No, sure, I mean, yeah, when youcut it together like that.
The president and his allieswasted precious weeks when we could have beenpreparing for this crisis.
We saw it coming.
We could have ramped up testing and hospital capacity, quarantined and traced cases to contain the spread.
Now we're facing the prospectof a horrible tragedy.
And when the time foraccountability comes, Trump should be removedfrom office.
-In a fairly quick manner.
-This has been “A Closer Look.
” ♪♪ Stay safe.
Wash your hands.
We love you.