Before late-night television shuts down completely next week, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah managed to get in one more message to President Donald Trump. It came in the form of his often more direct, less joke-y “Between the Scenes” segment and, of course, it had to do with the coronavirus.
“I’m being serious, leaders are afraid to just say the thing,” Noah said in the new video, taped earlier this week. “Because it seems callous, but we don’t want to say the honest thing in society. And that is, if you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die.”
As the audience laughed nervously, the host explained what he meant. “No, I really think it is important to have perspective,” he said, “because death is a thing that terrifies many of us, right?” At that point, the coronavirus had claimed 5,000 lives worldwide. Noah said it “would be good to have a leader” who could put that in perspective.
“The problem with Trump is, he’s more worried about how it affects the perception of him versus what he’s doing,” he added, a statement that was evidenced by the president’s unnerving Rose Garden press conference Friday afternoon. “This is where you realize how important good leadership is. Because a good leader would set expectations for a nation and put you in a good place.”
Ultimately, as someone who is “terrified” of flying, Noah compared Trump to an airline pilot who doesn’t warn their passengers about turbulence. “For me, the best pilots are the ones who come on and tell you, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be bumpy.’”
“Then when the bumps start, you’re like, ‘This is the shit he was telling us about!’” the host joked. “But there’s nothing worse than when the pilot comes on and is like, ‘Nothing to worry about, folks,’ and it’s like, shit is shaking right now!”
“But if you tell us ahead of time,” he said, “we get ready for it, we buckle our seat belts, everybody rides it out, we get to smooth sailing and then we’re on this thing together.”
So far, with President Trump at the helm, it feels like we’re a long way from “smooth sailing.”
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