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Fully Vaccinated Bill Maher Gets Coronavirus; ‘Real Time’ Taping Postponed Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP
Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP

If you were looking forward to a bit black comedy about the week’s news — Liz Cheney’s ousting, the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, new CDC mask guidelines — don’t get too excited. Today’s taping of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher has been postponed since host Bill Maher has tested for Covid-19. The unfortunate news is trending, considering the commentator is fully vaccinated.

Bill Maher Tests Positive For Covid-19

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, Real Time with Bill Maher found ways to keep going. The HBO show was filmed at Maher’s own house for some time and moved back to its regular Los Angeles studio in September with a small, live, masked audience — relatively early compared to other talk shows.

But it seems those precautions have failed the titular host. An HBO spokesperson told Deadline:

“The Friday, May 14th taping of Real Time with Bill Maher has been cancelled. 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.”

This week’s taping of Bill Maher would have featured astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, World War Z author Max Brooks and Hardcore History podcast host Dan Carlin.

The news of Maher’s diagnosis is especially surprising to fans who know that the host fully received his Covid-19 vaccine. Coming on the heels of loosened restrictions from thee Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the development seems especially unusual. We’re in the home stretch! Still, Maher is asymptomatic and thanks to his vaccine, likely will require no treatment. As of April 20, only 0.008% of fully vaccinated people ever tested positive for the virus. Within that small group, only .04% were hospitalized.

Maher Updates His Social Media

Maher Calls Coronavirus Coverage “Panic Porn”

In a “New Rules” segment from mid-April, Bill Maher ripped into the media’s proclivity for publishing primarily bad news. As footage shaming beach-goers and outdoor diners continually went viral over the last year, it turned out that Covid is extremely hard to contract outdoors. Maher has consistently remarked that wearing masks outside and avoiding outdoor group activities (like ball games) was overkill in preventing the virus. With rising vaccinations, the loosening of mask mandates reflects this research… but it does all make you wonder how Maher possibly got sick.

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Emily Mack About the author:
Emily Mack is a staff writer for Rare. She currently lives in Chicago and has very strong opinions about where to find the best hot dog. She studied nonfiction writing at Columbia University in New York City, and recently graduated with the Ellis Avery Prize for creative writing. Her favorite topics are Cher, fast fashion, Chicago urban legends, and Jack Nicholson movies.
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