John Oliver tears apart the magnetic vaccine conspiracy theory

A particularly unbelievable vaccine conspiracy theory migrated from the internet all the way to the Ohio statehouse last week, when a nurse named Joanna Overholt testified in front of the Ohio House Health Committee that the coronavirus vaccine had made her magnetic. Iit didn’t; none of the vaccines in use in America have metal in them, and even if they did, it wouldn’t be enough to cause magnetism, according to Reuters

Overholt, however, tried to demonstrate her magnetism by sticking a key and a bobby pin to her neck, but it didn’t work. They fell right off. 

The clip went viral and caught the attention of John Oliver, who addressed the situation in hilarious, brutally honest fashion on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight.” 

In the clip of her testimony, Overholt demanded someone explain why metal objects are sticking to her body if she’s not magnetic. “Um, sure. I can try to explain what this is,” Oliver said. “Very basically, public education is horribly underfunded and scientific literacy is nowhere near what it should be in this country, creating a vacuum of trust in legitimate research.” 

“Meanwhile, people tend to try to seek out the minimum amount of information that lets them keep believing what they already believe – in your case, that you’re privy to secret knowledge about a government conspiracy to magnetize the people of Ohio,” he continued. “All of that is probably why you felt confident enough to trust some bullsh– that you read online so much that you’re willing to look like a complete a–hole in front of all those people.”

And finally, “Oh, and if you just meant the key thing – people are sometimes sticky. We’re all kind of moist and gross, and keys stick to us sometimes. That’s it.”

Oliver’s rant can be watched on HBO Max. The main story of the episode, which is about the mental and physical health problems caused by a lack of air conditioning in prisons, is on YouTube.

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