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HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher called out federal health officials on Friday, asserting that they had politicized their handling of COVID by basically telling everyone ‘it’s my way or the highway’ while dismissing all dissenters, even other doctors, as quacks.
Maher had New York Times senior writer David Leonhardt on his show and proceeded to read a quote from him: “Many people have come to believe that expert opinion is a unitary, omniscient force. That’s the assumption behind the phrases ‘follow the science’ and ‘what the science says.’ It imagines science almost as a god – Science – who could solve our dilemma if we only listened.”
“And this is sort of the case I’ve been making. Like, who’s science? Like, of course, the chip in the vaccine is insane. But you know, the FDA’s two top vaccine experts resigned because they said you’re not following what we found out about boosters. You’re recommending them and we told you not to. It looks politicized. It looks like we have our science and anybody else, we can just pretend they’re a quack. And these aren’t quacks, these are other doctors,” Maher pointed out.
“Science is hard,” Leonhardt replied.
“Especially medical science… we don’t know sh-t,” Maher quipped.
.@DLeonhardt on @billmaher criticizes the "Follow the science" edict and points out it's about looking at the data and making tradeoffs based on our values. pic.twitter.com/QVs4gfcJ3Q
— Clint Olsen (@clintolsen) April 9, 2022
“It involves debates. And I would just urge people to realize that some of these things are hard scientific questions… others are a question of values and a question of trade-offs. If we kept every kid in America home for the next month from school, would we reduce COVID cases? Yes, we would. I think, would that be a good trade-off?”
“If we all stayed home and stayed perfectly still in our room,” Maher responded.
“Right, and that’s not science,” Leonhardt said.
“That’s not science, that’s not life,” Maher stated.
@billmaher Science is the new Inquisition
— Michael Lanning (@michael_lanning) April 9, 2022
“We have to make hard decisions about values and trade-offs,” the journalist concluded.
Earlier in the segment, Maher broached the subject of Democrats being fixated on COVID and asked Leonhardt about it.
“You wrote, ‘Millions of Democrats have decided that organizing their lives around COVID is core to their identity as progressives.’ Is that healthy?” Maher asked.
“That I said it or that they’re doing it,” the columnist joked. “It is not healthy. I hope it’s not unhealthy for me saying it.”
.@DLeonhardt is a voice of reason during the pandemic. While many Republicans have been reckless about it, he wrote,
"Millions of Democrats have decided that organizing their lives around COVID is core to their identity as progressives."
on @billmaher pic.twitter.com/D8Md4ft0XD
— Clint Olsen (@clintolsen) April 9, 2022
As a liberal guest tried to assert during the segment that more people are dying in red states than blue ones because The Washington Post says so, Maher clapped back.
“I remember reading on this show a few months ago and Florida was 17, New York and New Jersey were 4 and 5,” he began, referring to the rankings of states by COVID deaths earlier in the pandemic. “Now, there’s varying factors. West Virginia and Massachusetts, which are about as different as two states can get, were 10 and 11.”
“We know what kills people with COVID. I mean obesity is by far the biggest factor. That’s just a fact,” he contended implying that health, not politics is more to blame for COVID deaths.
Then the HBO host listed stats showing that those that are overweight die the most from the virus followed by the elderly and then the unvaccinated.
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