As Stephen Colbert has explained to his Late Show audience before, he has spent almost all of 2021 trying his best not to talk about former President Donald Trump. “But no matter how hard you try to avoid him,” he said on Wednesday night, “his name keeps coming up.”
The latest story Colbert couldn’t ignore comes from The Chief’s Chief, the new book by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who reveals that Trump actually tested positive for COVID-19 three days before his September 2020 debate with Joe Biden, and not after as he had previously claimed.
“Who could have known that he might have been positive at the debate that Tuesday?” Colbert asked before cutting to a clip of him suggesting just that in a clip that aired on The Late Show after Trump was hospitalized a few days after the in-person event. “You can’t go wrong when you bet on the former president lying,” he added.
Later, Colbert noted that while Trump took one negative test result as “full permission to press on as if nothing happened,” Meadows instructed his staff to treat the president as if he was positive. “So no touching him, no getting close to him, avoid him unless absolutely necessary,” the host said. “A strategy the CDC calls ‘The Melania.’”
Jimmy Kimmel also spent a good portion of his late-night monologue on Wednesday digging into the timeline of Trump’s COVID diagnosis. And he called out Fox News directly for letting Trump participate without showing a negative test on the day of the debate.
“Fox should not have let him debate,” Kimmel said. “Joe Biden is 143 years old and debate moderator Chris Wallace is no spring chicken either. He said they were relying on the honor system. You might as well rely on the Dewey Decimal System. Have you met Donald Trump? Of course Typhoid Harry wanted to debate anyway!”
“If you do the math on the COVID, it means Trump had it at that little soiree he threw for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, after which at least eight people who were there tested positive,” the host added. “I wonder whose tiny hand they all shook at that party.”
But the thing that enraged Kimmel the most was the way Trump then tried to blame his own COVID diagnosis on the Gold Star families who he met with after we now know he had already tested positive.
“The only thing shocking about any of this is that anyone would be shocked by it,” Kimmel said. “Of course he didn’t tell the Gold Star families and the Supreme Court justice and Joe Biden he was positive. This is a guy who didn’t even wear a condom with a porn star!”
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