On the Monday-night edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the late-night host took aim at Republicans’ bizarre conspiracy-mongering over the Omicron variant. The new coronavirus variant has, according to the World Health Organization, “several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes,” though epidemiological studies are “still underway” to determine how dangerous a threat it poses. Out of caution, the U.S. has implemented travel restrictions on eight countries where Omicron has spread most rapidly: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
“But of course, the right-wingnuts have a theory on this,” cracked Kimmel. “Their theory is that this variant is some kind of ploy concocted by the Democrats to help them win elections. In fact, former White House doctor and current congressman from Texas, Ronny Jackson, tweeted on Saturday: ‘Here comes the MEV—the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election—but we’re not going to let them!’”
(In March, a watchdog organization published a years-long report that found that Jackson, who’d previously served as Trump’s presidential physician, had “made ‘sexual and denigrating’ comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy for drinking alcohol while on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted concerns from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper care,” reported CNN.)
“All right, let me get this straight, Dr. Ronny: Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi developed this variant to encourage Democrats to vote by mail,” pondered Kimmel. “It seems like maybe you’re giving them too much credit. You think Democrats are that organized? They can’t even get Joe Manchin to support maternity leave—I don’t think they’re creating viruses.”
He then focused on Trump failson Donald Trump Jr., who’s been making the right-wing media rounds urging Americans to protest against vaccine mandates—you know, even though his family is vaccinated and his own father jumpstarted production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Meanwhile, the weakest variant of the Trump virus, Donald Jr., was waxing poetic about freedom this weekend on Fox News,” offered Kimmel.
Yes, Don Jr. appeared on Fox News with Dan Bongino—who once tried to sue The Daily Beast over a factually true story and ended up losing in humiliating fashion—to complain about how the media wasn’t properly covering anti-vax protests in Europe while comparing Americans who get vaccinated to “sheep.”
“Your dad told us to drink bleach,” Kimmel responded. “They always seem to forget that.”