At the top of his show Sunday evening, John Oliver addressed the mass shooting in Atlanta this week in which eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian Americans.
Oliver examined the recent spike in anti-Asian racism and hate crimes, slamming Donald Trump for spending a full year using terms like “Wuhan virus” and “kung flu” instead of COVID-19, and he also had some choice words for conservative pundits like The View’s Meghan McCain who gave the former president a pass.
“Our long, ugly history of anti-Asian racism and the fact that it often peaks during times of crisis is the exact reason why, just last year, many were loudly warning that Trump calling COVID names like the ‘China virus’ was likely to lead to a rise in violence against people of Asian descent,” Oliver said. “An argument that not everyone, at the time, seemed to find convincing.”
From there, the host played a nearly year-old clip of McCain defending Trump’s language on The View. “I think if the left wants to focus on P.C. labeling this virus, it is a great way to get Trump re-elected,” she said in March 2020. “I don’t have a problem with people calling it whatever they want. It’s a deadly virus that did originate in Wuhan.”
“Oh good, Meghan McCain doesn’t have a problem with it!” Oliver shot back. “Listen not to the scores of Asian Americans telling everyone that the term is dangerous and offensive. Instead, gather around and take the word of a wealthy white woman who’s dressed like she’s about to lay off 47 people over Zoom.”
“Meghan McCain applauded President Donald Trump for insisting on calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” saying “P.C.” liberals will get him “re-elected” if they keep harping on it. His use of the racial term is “effective,” she said.”
-Justin Baragona, Daily Beast pic.twitter.com/nS6HPE0Veo
— Christian Wilkie (@CWWilkie) March 18, 2021
“Now, I will say, Meghan McCain posted this week, ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ with three broken hearts emoji, which is a fine sentiment to throw up on Twitter after the fact,” he continued. “But there has to be an understanding that saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with calling it the China virus’ is very much giving space for hate to grow.”