- The Washington Times - Monday, April 19, 2021

Liberal comedian Bill Maher offered praise for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday night during a blistering monologue blasting the left’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

During his HBO show “Real Time,” Mr. Maher slammed Democrats and the liberal media for playing politics with the pandemic and misinforming the public. He cited a recent Franklin Templeton-Gallup survey that said while the chances a coronavirus-infected person will need to be hospitalized is only between 1% and 5%, more than 40% of Democratic respondents said that number was higher than 50%, and Republicans were more likely to guess the correct number.

Mr. Maher said, “Democrats are wildly off on this key question,” and they “also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID to and the mortality rate among children — all of which explains why today the states with the highest share of schools that are still closed are all blue states.”

“So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for: ‘How did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?’” he said.

“Texas lifted its COVID restrictions recently, and their infection rates went down, in part because of people getting outside to let the sun and wind do their thing,” he continued. “But, to many liberals, that can’t be right because Texas and beach-loving Florida have Republican governors. But life is complicated.”

Mr. Maher then praised Mr. DeSantis of Florida for making elderly residents a priority in his state, including vaccinating them first, unlike Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is accused of putting nursing home residents in harm’s way during the pandemic and undercounting COVID-19-related nursing home deaths. 

“I’ve read that the governor of Florida reads,” Mr. Maher said. “I know we like to think of Florida as only middle school teachers on bath salts having sex with their students in front of an alligator. But apparently, the governor is also a voracious consumer of the scientific literature, and maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York. Those are just facts. I know it’s irresponsible for me to say them.

“I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions,” he continued. “And now that everything is politics, that’s all we do. If their side says COVID is nothing, our side has to say it’s everything. Trump said it would ‘go away like a miracle,’ and we said it was World War Z.”

“If you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust,” Mr. Maher added.

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