John Oliver condemns ‘shockingly reckless’ Trump over coronavirus misinformation

‘Recklessness is abounding right now, heightening the need for strong leadership but unfortunately, we’re getting the exact opposite of that’

Louis Chilton
Monday 03 August 2020 07:47 BST
Trump defends doctor who claimed medicine is made from alien DNA and walks out of briefing mid question

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Louise Thomas

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John Oliver has criticised Donald Trump‘s handling of the coronavirus crisis, describing the US president’s actions as “shockingly reckless”.

Trump was widely condemned last week for using his Twitter account to promote a video in which a controversial doctor denounced the use of protective facial masks.

Dr Stella Immanuel, whom Trump called “impressive”, also endorsed the use of the chemical hydroxychloroquine as a measure to combat coronavirus, which experts suggest is not only ineffective, but highly dangerous.

In a press conference, Trump said that she’s “had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients”, and described her voice as “important” – though he admitted he “knows nothing about her”.

Speaking on his HBO comedy series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the British-American comedian took issue with Trump’s remarks.

“That is not the philosophy you want when vetting medical experts,” he said. “Downplaying the risks of this have dire consequences.”

“Recklessness is abounding right now, heightening the need for strong leadership but unfortunately, we’re getting the exact opposite of that,” he said. “Just a week after Trump was given credit for shifting his rhetoric by urging Americans to wear masks, he did something that even for him was shockingly reckless.”

Oliver has been an outspoken critic of the president throughout Trump’s time in office, particularly during the pandemic. The presenter quipped that Trump belonged in the “knucklehead hall of fame” as a result of his actions.

The virus’s death toll in the US is higher than anywhere else in the world, with more than 155,000 people dying as a result of Covid-19.

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