Bill Maher has been forced to cancel Friday night’s upcoming episode of Real Time after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The 65-year-old comedian tested positive after receiving his weekly nasal swab test ahead of the taping, Deadline reported on Thursday.
Maher is already fully vaccinated against the virus, and so far he’s reportedly asymptomatic.
Postive test: Bill Maher, 65, has been forced to cancel Friday night’s upcoming episode of Real Time after he tested positive for Covid-19, Deadline reports; seen in 2017
Maher was set to host Neil DeGrasse Tyson as his interview guest for the program.
World War Z author Max Brooks and Hardcore History podcast host Dan Carlin were also going to be joining him as panelist for the main portion of the show.
‘The Friday, May 14th taping of Real Time With Bill Maher has been cancelled,’ a spokesperson said in a statement.
‘Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID. He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine. Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date.’
On hold: ‘The Friday, May 14th taping of Real Time With Bill Maher has been cancelled,’ a spokesperson said in a statement
Doing well: ‘Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID. He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine,’ the statement continued
Maher has been leading the way to return to normal operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
His comedy talk show was the first major series to come back with live audience in September.
Prior to that, the show had taken a multi-month break in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, before film some episodes from Maher’s backyard with virtual guest appearances.
The coronavirus vaccines currently available in the US are considered particularly effective at protecting people against Covid-19, but like all vaccines there’s still a chance of catching the virus.
Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that fully vaccinated people are more likely to have a mild course of Covid-19 if they do get sick.
Leading the way: Real Time was one of the first major shows to return to using a live audience in September, after taking months off in 2020 and filming some episodes from Maher’s backyard; seen in 2017
According to Yale Medicine, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95 and 94.1 percent effective in preventing someone from getting Covid-19 at all, though they’re somewhat less effective for people 65 and over, like Maher.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 72 percent effective at preventing vaccinated people from getting Covid-19, which is better than scientists initially expected before the vaccines were completed.
It’s even more effective at preventing serious complications from the disease, and it can help people who do catch Covid-19 from getting so sick that they go to the hospital or die.
It’s not known which vaccine Maher took, but it may be able to keep him from having a rougher course with the illness than if he hadn’t been vaccinated.
Strong medicine: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are around 95 percent effective at preventing one from catching Covid-19, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is around 72 percent effective
Reckless claims: Maher suggested in April that ‘the medical establishment, the media, and the government’ were exaggerating with a ‘scared-straight approach’ to scare people into Covid-19 compliance; seen in 2018
Maher has been a noted skeptic about coronavirus safety regulations in recent months.
In April, he suggested on Real Time that the government and news organizations were colluding to push worst-case scenarios to scare people into complying with safety recommendations.
He claimed that ‘over the past year the pandemic has prompted the medical establishment, the media, and the government to take a scared-straight approach, to getting the public to comply with their recommendations,’ Forbes reported.
He followed it up with a dirty joke about sexually transmitted diseases to suggest that doctors already lie to patients to make them take a full course of antibiotics.
Maher concluded his segment by adding, ‘look, here’s what I’m saying: I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions’ and ‘if you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust.’
Coronavirus regulations skeptic: He continued, saying that ‘if you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust’; seen in 2017 in Beverly Hills