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On Sunday night, John Oliver kicked off the latest edition of Last Week Tonight by addressing how “an internet conspiracy about people becoming magnetic after getting vaccinated turned up at the Ohio statehouse.”
Yes, on Tuesday, a woman named Joanna Overholt—who identified as a nurse practitioner—testified in front of the Ohio House Health Committee that she had somehow become “magnetic” after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (a claim that is wholly unproven and, frankly, ludicrous). She then demonstrated just how “magnetic” she’d become, producing a key and a bobby pin and trying to stick them to her skin.
“So this is what I found out. I have a key and a bobby pin here. Explain to me why the key sticks to me… it sticks to my neck, too…” she offered, as the key did not stick to her and slipped off her neck.
Naturally, the clip went viral—and Oliver did his best to explain why he thinks this poor woman chose to embarrass herself publicly.
“Um, sure. I can try to explain what this is. 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,” offered Oliver.
“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 bullshit that you read online so much that you’re willing to look like a complete asshole in front of all those people.”
Then, the kicker: “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.”