First, he aired a short segment focusing on President Trump’s insane proclamations about schools reopening amid a pandemic that has claimed over 140,000 lives. Oliver noted how the president is presently ignoring CDC guidelines and his health officials in pushing for reopening, and that he’s threatening to defund schools who don’t obey his demands (thereby cutting education funding for lower-income and developmentally disabled kids, which is where the bulk of the federal money goes).
The night’s main segment, however, focused on conspiracy theories—including the many bonkers ones that have sprouted up around the novel coronavirus pandemic. But before all that, Oliver shared a curious conspiracy theory of his own.
“These theories are a lot more popular than you might think. Polls over the years have shown that over half of Americans consistently endorse at least one sort of conspiratorial narrative,” Oliver explained. “And look: I’m not immune here. Embarrassingly, there is a part of me that thinks the royal family had Princess Diana killed. I know that they didn’t, because there’s absolutely no evidence that they did, but the idea still lingers because it felt too big an event to be accidental. There had to be some intent there.”
Whew. Then, he took aim at the widely debunked “Plandemic” video, which was chock-full of bonkers claims (including that wearing a mask would active a “coronavirus expression” within you), and viewed by over 8 million people its first week.
People have become even more susceptible to these conspiracy theories because, Oliver explained, Trump is “one of the most prominent spreaders of conspiracy theories on Earth.”
Examples Oliver cited include: “Obama was born in Kenya, Antonin Scalia was murdered, and that millions of fake votes were cast for Hillary Clinton,” he said, adding, “Conspiracies are sort of like ugly buildings and deeply tragic adult children in that Donald Trump loves to unleash them into the world and then refuse to take responsibility for them ever again.”
“I know you may not find conspiracy theories plausible but you also may know people who do,” Oliver continued. “And while you can’t reach everyone, you can reach some. And now more than ever, it might be important for you to try. Which clearly is not easy.”