HBO host Bill Maher tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated, his show announced Thursday.
“The Friday, May 14th taping of Real Time with Bill Maher has been cancelled,” the statement read. “Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID. He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine. Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date.”
— Real Time with Bill Maher (@RealTimers) May 13, 2021
“Thanks to all wishing me get well — hard to do since I feel perfectly fine, but I appreciate it!” Maher said in a tweet. “Most upset about ending my streak going back to 1993 of never missing a Politically Incorrect or Real Time episode. Oh well, even Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point.”
Thanks to all wishing me get well – hard to do since I feel perfectly fine, but I appreciate it! Most upset about ending my streak going back to 1993 of never missing a Politically Incorrect or Real Time episode. Oh well, even Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) May 14, 2021
Maher slammed the media, health officials, and government in a recent monologue, accusing them of taking a “scared straight” approach to informing Americans about COVID-19 instead of simply giving “it to me straight.”
As The Daily Wire reported:
The liberal “Real Time” host cited a Dartmouth University study, showing that major media networks in the United States reported nearly 90% bad news. Maher said that, as a result of spin from the media, politicians, and health officials, many Americans have been drastically misinformed about the pandemic and the risks associated with it.
After taking a shot at Republicans — saying that one-third of Republicans in a recent poll didn’t know that people can spread COVID-19 while asymptomatic — Maher took aim at liberals, whom he referred to jokingly as the “high-information, by-the-science people.”
“In a recent Gallup survey, Democrats did much worse than Republicans in getting the right answer to the fundamental question: What are the chances that someone who gets COVID will need to be hospitalized? The answer is between 1-5%. Forty-one percent of Democrats thought it was over 50%. Another 28% put the chances at 20-49%,” he said.
“So almost 70% of Democrats are wildly off on this key question, and also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID, too, and the mortality rate among children,” said Maher, noting that the highest share of current school closures are in blue states.
Maher is not the first person to test positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, there have been 9,245 so-called “breakthrough cases” of COVID-19 as of April 26.
The CDC notes, “It is important to note that reported vaccine breakthrough cases will represent an undercount. This surveillance system is passive and relies on voluntary reporting from state health departments which may not be complete. Also, not all real-world breakthrough cases will be identified because of lack of testing. This is particularly true in instances of asymptomatic or mild illness. These surveillance data are a snapshot and help identify patterns and look for signals among vaccine breakthrough cases.”
“CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue take steps to protect themselves and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, maintaining an appropriate social distance from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing their hands often,” the CDC further advised.