AceShowbiz - Production of "Real Time with Bill Maher" has been put on an abrupt halt. On Thursday, May 13, HBO announced that its political talk show's host Bill Maher has tested positive for COVID-19. His condition forced the network to take safety precaution by canceling the taping for the Friday, May 14 episode.
Going public with the decision, HBO issued a statement via the show's Instagram and Twitter accounts. " 'Real Time' production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines," the network declared. "No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date."
On Maher's condition, HBO assured that he "is asymptomatic and feels fine." The network noted that the 65-year-old political commentator has been fully vaccinated before testing positive. He was uncovered to have had the virus "during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID."
Maher's positive test result came as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced change in the agency's guidance for fully vaccinated people. "Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," she stated during a Thursday briefing at White House.
Previously, CDC reminded that "no vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing illness." The health agency explained while the vaccines "are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control," there will be "a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19."
"Real Time with Bill Maher" is in its 19th season on HBO, and is taped in Los Angeles. In September 2020, it became the first talk show to bring back limited studio audiences and in-person guests amid the coronavirus pandemic. Maher served as its executive producer along with Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen and Billy Martin.