John Oliver details coronavirus impact on unemployment and essential workers

John Oliver (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)
John Oliver (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation) /

In its fourth segment on COVID-19, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver examined how the pandemic affects workers.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver continued to exclusively cover the novel coronavirus pandemic on last night’s show. It marked the fourth segment on the topic with a particular focus on the impact on the American workforce.

Previous episodes of the HBO late night series have examined the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic, President Donald Trump’s leadership, and the controversial coverage by far-right news network OAN.

So after spending time trying to explain how we got here, John Oliver took a different approach to the subject on Sunday night. Broadcasting once again from a remote location, Oliver covered unemployment and the essential workers who cannot stay home.

It was another insightful segment from Oliver and his staff. And once again, Last Week Tonight struck the right balance between humor and sincerity.

Oliver’s segment does come back around to putting some blame on the federal government. First he references employees that have been laid off from their jobs. A lack of preparedness and downplaying the challenges associated with applying for assistance makes for a bad combination in Oliver’s eyes.

Moving on to essential workers, Oliver highlights Amazon in particular. The company has been on Last Week Tonight‘s radar for some time. Here he questions if commercials aired by Amazon and other companies celebrating employees are really all that genuine.

Oliver concludes by calling for protections for workers. This means physical protection in the form of equipment and financial protection in the form of paid sick leave and health insurance. He argues that the pandemic has exposed a number of problems that already existed.

The segment manages to examine both small- and large-scale issues through an honest discussion. Oliver doesn’t sugarcoat the situation or simply pay lip service to essential workers. Instead, he establishes himself as a true ally and calls for real changes to happen.

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What did you think of this Last Week Tonight with John Oliver segment? Do you want the show to continue talking about COVID-19 or are you eager for a distraction? Let us know in the comment section below. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.