Bill Maher on Friday mocked the pro-Trump QAnon crowd for taking their conspiracy theory delusions to a whole new level with a bizarre claim about President Joe Biden and cicadas.
A clip of Biden swatting one of the bugs off his neck at Joint Base Andrews prior to his flight to England made the rounds on social media earlier this week. Some QAnon followers took Biden’s split-second interaction with the insect as a confirmation that their “plan” is working.
“JOE BIDEN BITTEN BY A CICADA - COMMS? Just so happens that Cicada nymphs emerge after a 17-year childhood underground!!!” wrote We The Media, a QAnon group that has more than 225,000 subscribers on Telegram.
The Brood X cicadas spent the last 17 years underground, only to reappear in May in the Eastern U.S.
“QAnon thinks this is very significant,” Maher said on his HBO show Real Time, explaining that the number 17 is important to the group because the letter Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet. Also, a dominant conspiracy theory among the group holds that there is a network of underground tunnels that pedophiles use to traffic and abuse children.
This is all ridiculous, of course, an exasperated Maher made clear.
“The cicadas put out a statement today,” he joked. “They said, ‘Could you not drag us into this bullshit, please? We’re just cicadas.’”
Some QAnon users interpreted the cicada activity as “biblical” in nature, a frequent theme in their message boards in recent years.
A swarm of the loud bugs happened to fill up the engines of the White House press plane that was scheduled to accompany the president on his overseas trip. The flight had to be delayed for a few hours until a new plane could be called in.