There was a lot for John Oliver to cover during Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, including Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings (“She dodged almost everything she was asked, and partly because this hearing was preordained by the Republicans”) and Donald Trump’s town hall (Trump’s creepy smile looks “like someone dropped their dentures into a jack-o’-lantern on November 14”). But the majority episode was centered on something Trump did back in July, when his administration notified Congress and the United Nations that the U.S. is withdrawing from the World Health Organization.
Trump has called the WHO “literally a pipe organ for China,” which, as Oliver pointed out, is not “literally” true, “because the only thing that is literally a pipe organ for China is a pipe organ because that’s what the word ‘literally’ means.” He continued, “Over the last six months, Trump has constantly tried to deflect blame for his handing of the coronavirus onto the WHO, China, and the close relationship that he claims the two have.” The WHO — which is made up of 194 member states, or “nearly every country on Earth” — coordinates “global responses to a wide range of health issues, including altering the world to threats, fighting diseases, developing policy, and improving access to care.” It can also declare a “health emergency of international concern and issue recommendations” on how to respond to a crisis… like the one we’re facing now.
But all Trump sees is “something that involves shared sacrifice, trade-offs, and complexity, and [he] decided to just blow it up because he either doesn’t understand it, doesn’t care, or both,” Oliver said. The WHO isn’t perfect, but “the solution clearly isn’t to walk away. It’s to try and fix them but the only way for the U.S. to have a say in how that happens is to have a seat at the table and we’re about to give that up.” Oliver called called abandoning the organization, especially “in the midst of pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans and a million people around the world, one of the most ill-advised, dumbest things we can possibly do — and I mean that f*cking literally.”
Watch the segment above.