Comedian and host of HBO's "Real Time" Bill Maher has a message for America's left-wing media: It's your fault so many people are afraid to leave their homes; stop scaring them about COVID.
The outspoken TV personality, who has gone after the left repeatedly on his uncensored cable show, shared his thoughts about the media's role in COVID panic during an interview on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Wednesday night.
What did he say?
Maher, who was on Kimmel's show to promote an upcoming tour, took the media to task for making life more difficult for artists trying to sell tickets to events in blue states.
The comic cited a survey from the New York Times showing that Democrats overwhelmingly overestimated the likelihood of a person being hospitalized should he get COVID-19 — which, he noted, likely surprised the liberal paper.
"The question was, 'What do you think the chances are that you would have to go to the hospital if you got COVID?' And Democrats thought that was way higher than Republicans," Maher said, referring to the Times poll that found Democrats were more likely to exaggerate the severity of COVID.
"The answer is between 1% and 5%," Maher correctly noted.
"Forty-one percent of Democrats thought it was over 50%. Another 28% thought it was 20 to 49%," he explained. "So 70% of Democrats thought it was way, way, way higher than it really was."
"The liberal media has to take a little bit of responsibility for that, for scaring the s**t out of people," Maher stated.
"The reason why I'm bringing this up is because it's much harder for every touring act to sell tickets in blue states," he added. "They're afraid to go out of the house. Whereas in red states, it's all good to go."
Maher, who said he is fully vaccinated and also got COVID after getting the shots, told fans who might be hesitant about coming to his show over COVID concerns, "Live life. Embrace life."
Looking at the division in the nation that is getting progressively worse, especially when it comes to politics, Maher had a suggestion for how America might find a way to come back together: Shut up about politics for a minute.
"One of the keys to that is to stop talking about it, stop talking politics," he said. "When I was a kid ... people didn't talk politics all the time. There was no Facebook. You know, Facebook should go back to being what it should be — humblebrags, cat videos, finding out who from high school is gay, fat, or dead — but instead it's people arguing with some kid you went to third grade with about Brett Kavanaugh."
"You want to know how to heal America?" Maher asked. "Shut up. Shut the hell up. Stop talking politics all the time. Stop trying to convince people. It's a big country with lots of people who don't think like you no matter what side you're on, and you're not going to convince them. Just accept it, like you do in a relationship."
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He later noted the importance of having live events again after the government shut everything down during the pandemic — a move he mocked.
"People have a hunger for the live experience," Maher said. "You can make people stay at home — you know, hiding was a great medical advancement to solve this problem."
Maher also ripped masking policies for restaurants, calling them "hygiene theater."
"The restaurant is so stupid now," he said. "You have to wear a mask when you walk in. As soon as you sit, you take it off. And when you go to the bathroom you have to put it back on because the virus would never attack you when you're seated."