- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 27, 2021

HBO host Bill Maher on Friday asked viewers to be optimistic about progress made in battling COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, rather than a “downer” like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Can we be a little happy? Can we be a little happy about where we are COVID-wise,” the left-wing comedian said during the latest episode of his weekly HBO series, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Mr. Maher, 65, said during a panel discussion on the show that he believed “constant gloom” about the coronavirus is counterproductive, joking that “it’s always a new strain from Satan that’s coming.”

The “Real Time” host then praised Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who recently predicted that Americans will be able to return to normal starting relatively soon.

“At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life,” the medical professional and Fox News contributor wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Maher quoted from the op-ed before lauding its author, stating: “I don’t know who Dr. Marty Makary is and I don’t care, I love him and I think he’s right.”

Citing progress in efforts to fight COVID-19, Mr. Maher said later that Dr. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, is “such a downer” for saying people should continue wearing face masks.

“I don’t want to wear a mask forever,” Mr. Maher declared repeatedly during the discussion.

Tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide in recent weeks, roughly a year since the country effectively shut down due to the outbreak of the contagious respiratory virus.

A person carrying the virus can transmit it to others by talking and breathing, making face masks a critical tool for preventing COVID-19 from spreading.

Mr. Biden has aimed for 150 million vaccinations to be administered by the end of April. Scientists are not sure yet how effective the vaccines are with respect to preventing transmission, however.

Indeed, Mr. Maher said during the latest episode of “Real Time” that he believes COVID-19 will never be totally eliminated.

“People cannot expect numbers to ever go to zero,” said Mr. Maher. “Life’s a rough game, it is. None of us gets out of it alive.”

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. in January 2020. More than 500 million nationwide have died from the disease in the year since.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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