Bill Maher opts to bow instead of shake hands over coronavirus on 'Real Time'

HBO's Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher offers 'signs you're a Karen' list: 'You were voted most likely to make a citizen's arrest' Michael Moore: The only way Trump wins in 2020 is if he 'cheats' Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: 'Why wait until Biden is our only hope?' MORE on Friday jokingly abolished handshakes on his weekly "Real Time" program, opting instead to bow to guests amid the topic of coronavirus dominating the news cycle.

“Is this serious?” Maher asked in his opening monologue regarding coronavirus, or COVID-19. “Yeah, it is. The CDC is now calling it the COVID-19, and you know a disease is serious when they give it a rap name. But panic? No. We should not panic and it doesn’t merit panic.”

“We live in L.A.," Maher explained. "The air is so toxic that anything that comes out of anybody’s mouth is killed immediately.”  


"You just have to take more precautions right now," he added. "Just assume everyone is infectious, the same warning they give contestants on ‘The Bachelor.'”

Maher also went after President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE, arguing he is not taking the virus as seriously as he should.

“I wish we didn't have a president who thinks this coronavirus is a minor annoyance, like the common cold or the Constitution of the United States," Maher said. "One who appoints as the person to head up this massive medical emergency, [Vice President] Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence on Floyd: 'No tolerance for racism' in US Pence chief of staff owns stock affected by boss's coronavirus work: report Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman MORE, who doesn’t even believe in evolution.”

“No, we have a president who just keeps telling us crazy lies that contradict everything the CDC is saying,” the host added.

Maher also noted that stocks tanked last week in a drop not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, which he joked could impact billionaire businessman Michael BloombergMichael BloombergIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned .7 billion expected to be spent in 2020 campaign despite coronavirus: report MORE, who has outspent all of his Democratic rivals combined despite getting into the race just three months ago.

“Bloomberg is not even sure anymore if he can buy the country,” Maher said.


The commentary comes ahead of Saturday's South Carolina primary, where Joe BidenJoe BidenDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points Biden: 'We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us' MORE is expected to win his first victory of the primary season.

Bloomberg, who opted not to compete in the first four voting states, will be on the ballot on Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states holding nominating contests.


Maher's remarks Friday came after Trump accused Democrats of politicizing coronavirus for political gain, calling their criticisms of his handling of the spreading virus "their new hoax."

"The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus," Trump said at a rally in North Charleston, S.C.

"One of my people came up to me and said, 'Mr. President they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn't work out too well," the president continued. "They tried the impeachment hoax."

"This is their new hoax," he added.