"Real Time" host Bill Maher took issue with coronavirus guidance offered by White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and other medical professionals, saying they should not just "sit there in your white coat and tell me 'just do what we say,'" and also suggested that former President Donald Trump will run for reelection in 2024.
Maher said in a Deadline interview broadcasted Friday that he is not criticizing the medical experts "like they're being corrupt, although there certainly is plenty of corruption in the medical establishment," when asked if he believes Fauci or the medical establishment know what they are doing.
"But I’ve always maintained that the big overarching theme should be that people look back and say, 'Oh, look how far we’ve come medically.' Yes, that’s true. We’re not putting wooden teeth in our mouth like in the George Washington era, and of course, we have antibiotics and lots of vaccines and lots of other things that have been miraculous," he continued. "But in general, we still don’t understand too much about how the human body works."
Maher went on to say that the medical community has been wrong on numerous occasions throughout history.
"They drilled mercury into my teeth when I was a child," he said. "Now, of course, we don’t do that anymore, but do you really think in 50 years people will look back and say, 'Oh, yeah, we had it all figured out in 2022'? No, they will be appalled at things we’re doing right now."
Maher also said that he was never afraid of the coronavirus, but rather, the reaction to it, noting that this "only proved to be more true for me."
"It was never that virulent a threat, I thought, to people who were in good health," he said.
The HBO host did, however, acknowledge that COVID is a cause for concern for the elderly and others considered to be at high risk for illness and death.
"Now, some people can't help that they’re not in good health," Maher said. "We should, of course, protect the vulnerable, but it was mostly a disease of the very old, which every disease is a threat to, and people who have comorbidities, which mostly is due to lifestyle."
And speaking about the efficacy of vaccines, Maher, who became infected with COVID-19 last May, said they are important in preventing death from the virus but do not stop transmission.
"They just prevent you from dying, which is a great part of it, let’s not undercount that," he said. "But if they don’t prevent you from transmitting it and they don’t prevent you from getting it why are we still treating this disease the way we always have?"
The comedian also spoke of the country's current political climate, noting that it is much different than it was when his show premiered in 2003.
"I think the politics around me have changed," Maher said. "In other words, the first years George W. Bush was president and the liberal half of the country was, I thought, pretty sane. Now, since about I don't know 2015 or so, there’s been a real sea change in what’s going on, on the left."
Maher also ripped both Democrats and Republicans, saying that the Democratic Party is "the party of no common sense," pointing out that they have "inverted so much of traditional liberalism" while panning Republicans who believe Trump's claims of a stolen 2020 election as "dangerous." He did not acknowledge Democrats doubting the 2000 and 2016 presidential election results and the outcome of the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia.
"Now I always will maintain that the right is the more dangerous faction in this country, especially since they don't believe in elections — I mean you have to keep that in perspective," Maher said. "One side does not believe in the form of government we have. What do you do about people who are in the government who don’t believe in your form of government?"
Maher, referring to the peaceful transfer of power as the "feather in our cap as America," said, "And now these people on the right have broken that and God knows what's going to happen in the future."
The "Real Time" host also said he believes that "the real day of reckoning is going to be between Election Day 2024 and Inauguration Day 2025, because that's when the rubber really hits the road."
And while he predicted that Trump will "definitely be running" and will become the Republican Party's 2024 nominee, Maher said that the former president will once again refuse to concede, suggesting the comedian expects Trump to fail in winning back the White House against the Democratic nominee.
"But this next time, he’s going to have people in place who will back him up on his lie that he won the election whether he did or not," Maher said. "And then what do you do when those people are much more powerful and there are two claimants to the throne?"
"I mean, we’ve seen this play out in other countries and it’s not pretty," he continued. "And I don’t know what will happen, but it frightens me a great deal."