The promise of a mass-vaccinated, pandemic-free future is slowly coming into view, but “despite vaccines becoming more available, there’s still one thing holding Americans back: Americans”, said Stephen Colbert on Tuesday. The Late Show host pointed to a CBS poll in which a third of Republicans said they wouldn’t get vaccinated. “Come on, Republicans! Not everything is political! How do we convince you that you want it? Would it feel safer if the vaccine was administered by an AR-15?”
Many Republicans cited “distrust of government” for their hesitancy, and worried the vaccines were produced too quickly. “Duh! It was produced quickly because all of science dropped everything because your president wanted them to, and they did everything right with the clinical trials!” Colbert fumed. “You wouldn’t stand in front of your burning house and tell the fire department, ‘Hold on, there, hold on, you fellas got here suspiciously fast. And I read on Facebook that water is just milk from invisible cows.’
“One potential side-effect of the coronavirus vaccine is that people are exposed to the idea that government can get things done,” he continued. “But Senate Republicans have a way to inoculate themselves from progressive” with the filibuster, a Senate measure that allows the minority party to end bills without the support of 60 senators, rather than a simple majority.
Rumors that Democrats might end the filibuster, which has gone from a rarely used tool to centerpiece of Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist strategy, upset the Senate minority leader. Addressing Congress on Tuesday, McConnell claimed the removal of the filibuster would not “open up an express lane to liberal change” but instead grind the already deadlocked Senate to a halt.
“It’s already happening, you idiot!” Colbert exclaimed. “And the filibuster is why it’s happening. If you threaten to blow off my head with a shotgun, and I say ‘Let’s take away that idiot’s shotgun,’ it’s not much of a threat to say, ‘If you do, I’ll shoot you in the face five times with a crossbow.’”
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah investigated Donald Trump’s refusal to promote the coronavirus vaccines he’s demanded credit for. “I can’t say that I’m surprised that Trump isn’t making an effort to get people vaccinated,” he said. “I mean, the man barely did his job when he had his job, you think he’s going to start working now, for free?”
Even though he’s not interested in promoting it, he’s very interested in getting credit; last week, the former president’s team released an official statement in which he used a racist anti-Asian term to describe the virus and demanded people “remember” who was responsible for the vaccine.
“Look, I get where Trump is coming from – the vaccines were a scientific miracle developed in record time on his watch. You cannot deny that,” said Noah. “But that’s what makes it so weird that he’s not out there promoting the vaccine. Like when Tom Brady won the Super Bowl, he went and held the trophy and celebrated with his team. He wasn’t like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna sneak out the back, don’t tell anybody I was here.’
“I don’t know why Trump isn’t promoting the vaccine,” Noah concluded. “Maybe he doesn’t want to help Joe Biden end the pandemic, maybe he’s still trying to unload all the hydroxychloroquine that he bought last summer.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel rifled through some outrageous Fox News outrage. First, host Tucker Carlson’s denigration of Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s jubilant (and heavily censored) performance of their song WAP at the Grammys on Sunday, which guest Candace Owens said indicated a “weakening of American society” and the “end of an empire”.
“Right, right – deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol? Understandable. Two black women with a dirty pop song? The end of an empire,” Kimmel deadpanned. “Pretty sure they said the same thing about Madonna and George Michael in the 80s but I guess they have nothing real to complain about.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s “fraudigal son” Donald Trump Jr complained about Biden on Fox News, calling his first two months in office “the most disastrous first 60 days in the history of American politics and certainly the presidency”.
“Name 10 presidents,” Kimmel retorted. “Go ahead. Please, we’ll wait.”