John Oliver has assembled a group of celebrities to help debunk coronavirus conspiracy theories.
Speaking on his HBO comedy series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the comedian criticised Donald Trump’s habit of tacitly promoting conspiracy theories, which caused the US president to be described by various major news outlets as the “conspiracy-theorist-in-chief”.
Oliver singled out a clip of radio host Rush Limbaugh, in which the right-wing media personality likened Trump’s conspiracy speculation to pouring gasoline on a fire.
Towards the end of the episode, Oliver played clips featuring well-known celebrities that warned people of the need to scrutinise conspiracy theories.
“Yeah, we got [Jeapardy! host] Alex Trebek to make a 90-second video gently urging anyone who watches it to be careful with what they encounter and share online. So you can show your grandparents that and then talk to them about it,” said Oliver.
Wrestling star and actor John Cena recorded a segment in which he notes with surprise that he is the same age as Oliver, encouraging people to look for official sources of information.
Catherine O’Hara, Billy Porter and Paul Rudd were also featured on the programme. Rudd is seen joking about a time his name trended on Twitter with the hashtag “#RIPPaulRudd”.
All videos can be watched on a dedicated website thetruetruetruth.com.
On Last Week Tonight, Oliver also condemned the decision to reopen many schools across the US while coronavirus infection rates are still high.
“Teachers should not go to work scared they might die,” Oliver said. “They should be scared of the usual teacher things like not getting paid enough money to eat or made into a TikTok meme by their students.”
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