In his monologue Thursday night, Jimmy Kimmel laid into COVID-19 vaccine holdouts for making herd immunity in the U.S. more difficult to achieve.
Public health officials in California announced Wednesday that it will take a month longer than previously estimated for Los Angeles County to attain that threshold of vaccinated individuals. While the peak inoculation rate months ago was around 500,000 doses each week, the current number is only 100,000.
“Instead of a vaccine, I think what we should to do is start calling it ‘arm botox,’” Kimmel joked. “That should be the rule: if you don’t get the vaccine, you aren’t allowed to get tattooed or your lips plumped.”
Kimmel then pointed out that some of those who are still unvaccinated have taken advantage of the mask policies at certain venues, which often run on the honor system and don’t require proof of vaccination. This choice seems to reflect a cavalier attitude about the pandemic, Kimmel elaborated, with some believing that it’s “over.”
“Not for you it isn’t,” the late-night host said. “Listen: you didn’t chip in for the gift, [so] you don’t get to sign the card, OK?”
Last month, experts concluded that vaccine holdouts and COVID-19 variants mean the U.S. is unlikely to reach herd immunity. President Joe Biden has since set a goal of 70 percent of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4.
Some states and businesses have been offering rewards as a way to move things along. An Amazon delivery driver from Ohio recently won the state’s $1 million jackpot, and said the lottery helped motivate him to get the vaccine. Anheuser-Busch said it will give Americans a free beer if Biden’s goal is met.
Whether or not herd immunity is reached in the U.S., Kimmel later put forth a hierarchy of people to interact with again once the conditions to do so have been met.
In the second-lowest tier, Kimmel placed those who were “too needy” during the pandemic—in other words, those who “forced you into the Zoom happy hours that went well past the free 40 minutes.”
Near the front of the line is anyone who “recorded a video birthday message for you” or who dropped off a pie at your home, said Kimmel.