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Bill Maher: 'Reckless experiment' of coronavirus shutdowns may have fueled Floyd protests

Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherSharon Osbourne tells Maher she's 'angry' and 'hurt' after departure from 'The Talk' Bill Maher blasts Oscar picks: Hollywood movies now are 'just depressing' Why the unhinged woke brigade is a profound threat to our freedom MORE argued on his program Friday night that the shutdown of the country over the coronavirus pandemic potentially played a role in the violence that erupted across the country recently, with the "Real Time" host expressing concern over the long-term impact on the burden on police departments regularly battling unrest related to the death of George Floyd.

The perspective from Maher comes as protests in cities big and small continue across the country this weekend over the death of Floyd, who died in police custody while officer Derek Chauvin pinned the 46-year-old black man to the ground while kneeling on his neck. The officer has since been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.

"This lockdown that we've been living with, do you agree ... has a lot to do with the unrest in the streets?" Maher asked. "That when you coop people up and when they have no hope and no job, why not go out in the streets?

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"I wonder what America will look like, what police departments look like if they have to fight this all the time," he added. "I feel like this experiment, this reckless experiment in closing down an entire country for months at a time is not going to look good in the future and this is one reason why.

"It's almost about what in the long run is going to cause more death," Maher said later. "The head of the U.N. said a couple of weeks ago he expects hundreds of thousands of children to die because of what we did to the economy. I know they're not all Americans so they don't count as much to Americans, but I think that matters somewhat."

Maher was citing a recent United Nations report warning that hundreds of thousands of children around the world could die due to the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, with the report also adding that tens of millions of children could fall into extreme poverty.

“Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year,” the Apr. 16 report reads.

The world body estimated that between 42 million to 66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a consequence of the pandemic.

The report also noted that 188 countries had closed their schools nationwide, impacting more than 1.5 billion children.