Jimmy Kimmel Has Sharp Words for 'Our Fearless Misleader' Trump as Nation Faces Coronavirus
Jimmy Kimmel is cooped up at home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop the host from delivering his nightly TV monologue Thursday — or from criticizing President Donald Trump‘s efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
“Our fearless misleader believes the prognosis is good,” Kimmel, 52, said while he delivered his Jimmy Kimmel Live! “minilogue” from home on what he said felt like”Day 75″ of his coronavirus isolation.
“Today he tweeted, ‘We are going to win, sooner rather than later.’ What does that even mean? What are we going to win? We can’t even find eggs. What are we winning?” Kimmel continued.
As more than 15,600 confirmed cases of the virus and 202 deaths have been reported in the U.S. as of Friday afternoon, criticism for President Trump and his administration’s response to the virus has grown from some quarters.
Trump, 73, in February claimed Democrats were trying to politicize the global outbreak as a “hoax” to damage him, while the federal government also fumbled its initial nationwide distribution of coronavirus tests.
Before he dramatically changed his tone about the virus this week, the president also downplayed it compared to the seasonal flu — though experts say the virus is much more dangerous if it is able to infect as many people as the flu.
“I just want to be out of this house before Blue Ivy graduates medical school, but the good news is our president has it all under control,” Kimmel sarcastically said Thursday.
Kimmel, a longtime Trump critic, also showed a 2018 viral video of the president walking up the stairs of Air Force One with toilet paper stuck to his shoe and pivoted to a joke about the American public’s anxiety over stocking up on household supplies — a panicky response that’s resulted in long lines and empty shelves at some grocery stores around the country.
“Remember this: When Trump walked up the stairs of Air Force One with toilet paper on his shoe?” Kimmel said, showing the clip. “Well, we all have to share that piece of toilet paper now. That belongs to all of us.”
Grocery stores and other “essential” stores have remained committed to staying open, as President Trump himself spoke with more than two dozen grocery and supply store CEOs this week before calling for calm from American consumers.
“You don’t have to buy so much,” Trump said at Sunday’s coronavirus task force briefing, while noting that “the stores are stocking up on a level that’s beyond Christmas time.”
“From the beginning of time, nations and people have faced unforeseen challenges, including large-scale and very dangerous health threats. This is the way it always was and always will be. It only matters how you respond, and we are responding with great speed and professionalism,” the president said in an Oval Office address to the nation last week.
“For all Americans, it is essential that everyone take extra precautions and practice good hygiene. Each of us has a role to play in defeating this virus,” he said.
But Kimmel’s frustration, which reflects the mood of other Americans being urged to “social distance” in their homes to slow the spread of the virus, was clear at points during his “minilogue” from home on Thursday.
“I’ve really had enough of this guy,” the late-night host said. “You know what, just shut up already and let the doctors take over. Seriously, you Trumped the shark. Go away. Hand it over to Mike Pence, go sit in your room at Mar-a-Lago and scream at the television all day.”
To prevent the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages maintaining basic forms of hygiene including careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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