On Monday night, Seth Meyers returned to the Late Night desk—well, a temporary one housed in his living room in front of a rather impressive bookshelf—for the first “official” edition of his show since the novel coronavirus pandemic forced New Yorkers indoors.
With musical accompaniment from pal Fred Armisen and musician Marnie Stern, Meyers launched into a takedown of President Trump’s astounding lack of leadership during the coronavirus crisis, including bragging about how high his pandemic presser’s ratings are, before welcoming the night’s first guest: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders (D-VT) has been, without question, the most visible and vocal Dem candidate during the pandemic (since it apparently took Joe Biden close to a week to set up a livestream in his home). Speaking with Meyers via conference call from his home in Burlington, Vermont, Sanders explained why his Medicare for All proposal to revamp the American health care system would be welcome during these uncertain times.
“Right now, as we speak, millions of people are losing their jobs, and some 87 million people already did not have any health insurance or are underinsured. So people are sitting home right now scared to death that somebody in their family is going to come down with the virus. They don’t know how they will even pay for the treatment they’ll receive, let alone any health care problems their families have,” said Sanders.
He added, “A health care-for-all system is designed to provide quality care for all to do preventive work in order to prepare for some types of pandemics—not necessarily to make huge amounts of money for the insurance companies and the drug companies.”
When Meyers asked Sanders about how GOP members of the Senate felt that the recent coronavirus stimulus bill “was being too generous to the less fortunate,” the Democrat got real fired up.
“You have folks in the Senate, my Republican colleagues, who voted for a trillion dollars in tax breaks for the 1 percent and large corporations, and yet, in this stimulus package… what we said is, over a four-month period, in this terrible time where people are so worried about how they’re going to feed their families… that for four months we’re going to add $600 to what you would normally get from an unemployment check,” offered Sanders.
He continued: “We had some of my Republican colleagues say, ‘Imagine, there will be some low-income workers who would actually earn more from their unemployment check than they previously did when they made 10, 12 bucks an hour. We can’t allow that to happen!’ And to me, that is so ugly, so grotesque, so immoral that I felt compelled to speak out about it.”