Either Bill Maher is pretty much uncancellable at this point — or he simply doesn’t care.
In a candid interview with entertainment industry publication Deadline, the HBO host said he was “over COVID,” ripped into de facto COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he wouldn’t get a booster shot, and said public health officials and the “medical establishment” shouldn’t “sit there in your white coat and tell me, ‘Just do what we say.'”
Maher is certainly singing a different tune from the rest of Hollywood — and, if he were anyone else, this would probably be a scandal. Cancel culture has drummed people out for less, after all — and we’re dedicated to fighting the pernicious and silencing effects of cancel culture here at The Western Journal. You can help us in our fight by subscribing.
The interview with Deadline was ostensibly about the 20th anniversary of his current show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” However, things took an unexpected turn when Maher was asked, “heading back to a new season this week, what’s your feeling about the pandemic in 2022?”
“I’m over COVID,” Maher said.
This answer prompted the obligatory, “Really?” To which he replied, yes, really.
“I was never scared of it. I was always scared of the reaction to it, and as this has played out that only proved to be more true for me. I’m sure many people feel different, but that’s me. It was never that virulent a threat, I thought, to people who were in good health,” Maher said.
“Now, some people can’t help that they’re not in good health. We should, of course, protect the vulnerable, but it was mostly a disease of the very old, which every disease is a threat to, and people who have comorbidities, which mostly is due to lifestyle.”
Maher got COVID in May, despite being fully vaccinated at the time. In the interview, however, he said he wasn’t going to be getting a booster shot — and, while he certainly wasn’t in rabid anti-vaxx fanatic mode, he was critical of those pushing the jab as the be-all-end-all.
“I mean, we’re in a very different place with COVID than we were just when I was on the air last time, and that is the vaccines, we know, do not prevent you from either transmitting it or getting the disease,” Maher said.
“They just prevent you from dying, which is a great part of it, let’s not undercount that. But if they don’t prevent you from transmitting it and they don’t prevent you from getting it, why are we still treating this disease the way we always have? And what the f*** is the use of a booster shot? Because I will never get a booster shot,” he added.
And, as for those who didn’t want to get the shot in the first place: “We should not treat people unfairly who want to allow their own immune system to take care of the situation,” he said.
And then he was asked about our sainted COVID czar: “Listening to you, it sounds like you really don’t think Dr. Anthony Fauci or the medical establishment really know what they are doing, that this is more whack-a-mole?” the Deadline interviewer said.
“They don’t know a lot about anything,” Maher responded, adding that while we’ve come a long way from “putting wooden teeth in our mouth like in the George Washington era … in general, we still don’t understand too much about how the human body works.”
“So, don’t sit there in your white coat and tell me, ‘Just do what we say. When have we ever been wrong?’ ‘A lot,’ is my answer. ‘A lot,'” Maher said.
“They drilled mercury into my teeth when I was a child. Now, of course, we don’t do that anymore, but do you really think in 50 years people will look back and say, oh, yeah, we had it all figured out in 2022? No. They will be appalled at things we’re doing right now.”
Just in case you thought Maher had gone full Republican, most of the rest of the interview was dedicated to bashing former President Donald Trump and his various perfidies, something that won’t be new if you’ve ever caught five minutes of Maher’s show.
However, at the end of the interview, he said, “I feel like COVID is still the [dominant] issue of our lives right now and it should not be anymore.”
“And I think the big discussion on our show Friday night when we go on … is, should we continue with the COVID policies we’ve had in the past? Or do we have to do a reset, and just say this thing is never going away and we can’t always be living in a state of emergency?”
The latter would be preferable, although (for the moment, anyhow), the chances are better you can get all the little kids in the world to clap their hands simultaneously.
Deadline’s interview wasn’t a long one and thus, we didn’t hear Maher talk at length about COVID policies. However, the missing piece here seems to be his misunderstanding that those who’ve just spent two years wielding unprecedented power because of the pandemic are now going to say, in the face of a more infectious-yet-milder variant, “Welp, we’ve all made a mess of it. Pack it up, fellas, and tell the schoolchildren they can take the N95s off”?
The question answers itself. Each new variant, each new uptick in cases, each news cycle with fresh, dire warnings represents an opportunity for elected officials to arrogate more power to themselves, if just for a little while longer. Fifteen years to slow the spread? Well, heck — if it saves just one life …
Unlike the rest of the leftists-celebrity tribe, Bill Maher is occasionally known to awake from his slumber and startle at the mess around him. On COVID policy, getting back to normal and how much heed we should pay Dr. Fauci and the rest of the medical establishment in terms of how we should live our lives, he gets it mostly right.
As much as it’s a great quote, however, he misses the point when he says, “So, don’t sit there in your white coat and tell me, ‘Just do what we say.'” We all could have said that — a long, long time ago. That horse hasn’t just left the barn, it’s galloped halfway across the continent. Close the stable door if you like, but it’ll just make the farm look a bit tidier.
We’ve set up a system where politicians — at least from one political party, one which happens to control the White House and both houses of Congress at the moment — take recommendations from the white coats at face value. Then, they turn around and weave them into policy that compels us to just do what they say.
Maher’s comments are welcome, of course, and it’s always good to see him have one of his occasional bursts of perspective, especially one that would put almost any other celebrit on the cancel culture hit-list. It’s a tardy burst, however.
He may be done with COVID, but COVID policy isn’t done with him — or any of us, for that matter.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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