Bill Maher is no stranger to tapping into outrage for attention and his HBO series. Controversial opinions will grab more press than a tame take on current events. The latest for Maher is from Friday's latest Real Time with Bill Maher and it surprisingly puts him on par with President Trump.
While going through some hot topics during Friday's episode, Maher decided to call out "hypocrisy" according to Deadline and the naming of the coronavirus spreading around the globe. His main issue is similar to what many on the right have said in recent weeks. The virus originated in Wuhan, China at a wet food market, but many have been hesitant to label the virus a product from the nation. Maher disagrees.
"There are people who would rather die from the virus than call it by the wrong name," Maher said, naming off MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and the Spanish Flu. The latter is actually a falsehood spread in 1918 that labeled Spain as a hard-hit country due to them being neutral in World War 1. This did not stop Maher during the show.
"It’s not racist to point out that eating bats is bats— crazy,” he continued. “We should blame China. Not Chinese Americans. If the sun was exploding, Twitter would pile on the first guy who called it a dwarf star."
"This has nothing to do with Asian-Americans. We don’t have the luxury of indulging a country whose habits cause problems. Viruses come from China like shortstops come from the Dominican Republic," Maher added before moving on to urge China to shut down its markets or change habits. He even brought up some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the virus, including the idea that it might be a bioweapon.
"If the China military had purposely infected this country with a bioweapon, we’d be at war with them. This one hurt our economy a little more than the currency manipulation," he closed out the segment.
Many weighed in on the host's comments, with many pointing out his faults and others praising the HBO comedian. Scroll down to see how some felt.
GEEZ, DO SOME RESEARCH!! In 2015 (meaning totally unrelated to Covid-19) the @WHO issued a recommendation to stop naming these after their origins precisely to minimize negative impacts on those people and places. #FactsMatter #FactsNotFear https://t.co/4S5DinIxLp— Howard Ho (@ho_howard) April 11, 2020
"Yeah I hope you don’t eat pork (H1N1 came from American pig farms) or beef (Mad Cow disease, England) then. Wet markets are not good but you don’t get to be a huge hypocrite about this just so you can justify being racist as hell," one wrote.
"So you’re pivoting to the Alex Jones grift," another said comparing Maher to the Infowars leader.
The Rules Have Changed
Ooops. pic.twitter.com/vDLZTgXaec— David Abrams (@CheapyD) April 11, 2020
"In 2015 WHO decided not to name any pandemic with name of place, country, or people. The decision is supported by almost all members including USA. Covid19 broke out in China, not necessarily originated in China. Science will have final say on that," a third dropped in to clear up the misconception about Maher's examples.
The Source Matters
That was such a fair and brilliant performance. Lot's of PC polices are complaining here! Let them nag. It's OK as long as they don't run the country.— jahangir (@JahangirTaban) April 11, 2020
"The only problem with calling the latest virus the Chinese Virus is who is using the term and why he’s doing it. Trump has no interest in resolving the sources of these diseases. He’s using the term to ignite the lowest of his supporters," another mentioned, noting that the source of the comment is sometimes more important than the comment itself.
The #WuhanFlu came from the #WetMarkets of Wuhan. As uncomfortable as it is to point a finger, these markets must be abolished. To protect the wild species that are often kept alive and slaughtered in situ, and to protect humanity from these cross-bred viruses.— PG21stcentury (@pg21stcentury) April 11, 2020
"How many of you heard [Bill Maher]? Did you think he was being racist? I didn't. I think he made sense even though it is probably the only time he has supported a statement by 45 I no longer think Trump was a racist on this issue even though he is on many issues and policies," one person agreed and noted that Maher was on the same wave as Trump.
Why It Matters
So needlessly put Asian American people at risk of race related hate crimes because you'd rather call it China flu over coronavirus or COVID-19? Cool. pic.twitter.com/y6WxUlJidD— p jon clayton ~ 👾 emotionally distancing (@LeafErikson) April 11, 2020
"With specific, narrow exceptions of bio warfare, which this coronavirus is not, diseases are a product of natural phenomena. Giving them an identity label of a national, racial, or other human construct has only one result, a foreseeable result: injustice to the labeled group," another wrote, driving home the problem with connecting the virus to China or any other specific country.