HBO talk show host Bill Maher says despite endless claims by the Biden campaign, President Trump isn’t responsible for the more than 254,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19.
Panelist Jon Meacham, a speechwriter and adviser to Democrat Joe Biden, appeared on Maher’s “Real Time” show on Friday and blamed Trump for the deaths.
“It’s easy, because it seems so incompetent, to make fun of it, but this is an administration whose fundamental incompetence has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the most significant weakening of institutions that, however flawed, have produced, by and large, a more perfect union,” he said.
Meacham mocked the press conference last week by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in which Giuliani pushed so-far unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s easy to be amused by Rudy, but we’re just lucky that our authoritarians are so incompetent,” Meacham said.
“Everybody’s incompetent,” Maher shot back. “It wasn’t just Trump that led to those deaths. He certainly did his part, but we’re an incompetent country.”
“That’s true,” Meacham said.
“And an unhealthy one,” Maher added.
Maher also took issue with a claim from another panelist, Alex Wagner, a former MSNBC journalist, who said conservatives have ignored the pandemic for “completely partisan reasons.” And he blamed Republicans and Trump for “inaction.”
“We have a battle right now against an unseen enemy, and one side has no interest in fighting it for completely partisan reasons,” Wagner said. “I mean, that is a cravenness – the inability, the inaction, the dismissal of COVID-19 as a deadly virus tells you the ends to which the Republican Party and Donald Trump will go to preserve partisan worldview.”
But Maher fired back, saying: “I mean, there’s blame to go around everywhere, there’s blindness on some parts everywhere.”
The panel also discussed Georgia’s two U.S. Senate runoff elections set for Jan. 5, which will decide the balance of power in the Senate, where Republicans hold 50 seats and Democrats 48.
Meacham said the two Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, represent “one more shot” for Georgia voters to “get this right.”
“This is an existential moment in American democratic – lowercase ‘d’ – history,” Meacham said. “And we have one more shot at this. The voters of Georgia have one more shot to get this right by sending these Democrats to the Senate.”
Meacham recently made headlines when he was dropped as an MSNBC contributor after failing to disclose that he had been helping write some of Biden’s speeches. Meacham did not tell the network that he had been involved in drafting Biden’s speeches, including his acceptance address in Wilmington, The New York Times reported. He had been “playing a larger role than was previously known” behind the scenes of the Biden campaign, the Times wrote.
According to the Times, Meacham was “writing drafts of speeches and offering edits on many of Mr. Biden’s big addresses, including one he gave at Gettysburg last month and his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.”