As the political fallout from the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued to roil Washington, Democrats “still held a shred of hope that they could persuade four moderate GOP senators to show some integrity and stick to their principles” in not voting on a nominee with just six weeks until a national election, said Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. After all, Senate Republicans refused to vote on Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, with nine months to spare in 2016, citing the need for the people’s input in an election year.
That hope “lasted almost a full day and a half,” reported Noah, as Utah senator Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would “follow the constitution and precedent” and vote for Trump’s nominee “based upon their qualifications”.
Many hoped otherwise, said Noah, as Romney is “the dad you ask when your other Republican dads say no,” but “people always forget that Mitt Romney is still a conservative senator from one of the most conservative states.”
Securing a conservative majority on the supreme court is a longtime conservative dream, Noah explained, and joked that “on his bedroom wall growing up, Romney had a poster of Superman, a dancing horse, and an empty supreme court seat.”
With the votes for a nominee a virtual lock and no avenues to prevent a confirmation, Democratic leadership vowed to seek revenge; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, told reporters Mitch McConnell should know that “he is playing with fire”.
“But let’s be honest: knowing what we know about Democrats, ain’t shit going to happen,” said Noah. “When Democrats say ‘everything is on the table,’ then watch out, Republicans – you’re about to get a sternly worded email.”
“There’s a Christmas in the air, leaves are changing, our nation is ravaged by a preventable disease due to our president’s criminal negligence,” said Stephen Colbert on The Late Show’s first episode of the fall season, on a day when America passed yet another grim pandemic milestone. Over 200,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus, a toll higher than the battlefield deaths of its last five wars combined.
And yet, the handling of the virus continues to be marked by confusion and political obfuscation. On Friday, the CDC updated its coronavirus information page with an addendum that “airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond six feet”.
“Kind of important information just to slip in there on a Friday afternoon,” Colbert deadpanned. “Hey, uh, you guys, no biggie, but the virus is airborne, six feet won’t save you, so you’re gonna want to wrap yourself in saran wrap and start a new life under the floor boards.”
But on Tuesday, the CDC quietly removed the information, claiming it was just a “draft version” that was “posted in error.”
“Well, that’s not comforting,” said Colbert. “That’s like a fire marshal saying, ‘if you catch fire, remember: just stop, drop, and ignore everything I just said.’”
The CDC claimed the extra-airborne guidance was an “honest mistake,” but “I think we should take everything the CDC says with a grain of salt for the foreseeable future,” said Colbert, since Trump appointees delayed one CDC study for weeks because it showed the actual number of coronavirus infections was ten times the official number, and thus in “conflict” with Trump messaging.
“So they’re trying to change reality just to fit what the president says,” Colbert added, “which explains why the CDC says the new recommended serving size for food is bucket.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel returned to the studio after a summer off from late-night to recap the bitterly contested rush by Republicans to place a conservative on the supreme court, despite blocking Democrats’ efforts to do so in 2016. Trump is “moving very quickly on this,” said Kimmel, “but when it came to doing something about the virus that he knew was deadly – a virus that has now killed over 200,000 of the Americans he swore an oath to protect – then he moves slower than Eric doing the People magazine crossword puzzle.”
On Monday, Trump told a crowd in Ohio that the coronavirus effects “virtually nobody” – which is “insane,” said Kimmel, as is the inexplicable CDC revision of its own guidelines on airborne virus particles.
To recap: on Friday, the CDC posted a warning on its website that droplets could remain suspended in air and travel more than six feet, “which was a big deal,” said Kimmel, “because even though we knew this, this was the first time a government website admitted it.”
But on Tuesday, the droplets paragraph was replaced with a correction that claimed a “draft version” was “posted in error” to the website. “In other words: oops, we accidentally posted the truth, sorry,” Kimmel explained.