May 4, 2021

"Here's something positive to kick things off: A new poll shows that almost two-thirds of Americans are feeling optimistic after President Biden's first 100 days in office," Jimmy Fallon said on Monday's Tonight Show. "Of course we're feeling good — we've got vaccines in our arms, stimulus checks in our pockets, and hot sauce on our Goldfish." The last time "we were close to being this optimistic was 2006," he said, "when Tom Hanks brought back the mullet."

Verizon's $5 billion sale of Yahoo and AOL "is already being called the most successful tech sale of 1999," Fallon joked. "I didn't even know Verizon owned Yahoo and AOL. That's like finding out Apple owns RadioShack. ... It was telling when they emailed the news to the heads of Yahoo and AOL and they both had Gmail addresses."

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah followed Fallon's "You've Got Mail" joke with a Norton Antivirus analogy for America's projected herd immunity failure. "Thanks to the many people who refuse to take a lifesaving vaccine, experts now think that coronavirus is basically going to become one of those antivirus popups — you know, we're gonna minimize it, but we'll never really delete it," he said. "In these divided times, it's just great to see all Americans coming together to fail at something so easily achievable."

That poll showing "a new sense of optimism" in America was also "conducted before we found out Elon Musk is hosting Saturday Night Live, so we'll see if it holds up," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. Condom sales are up, and in Las Vegas, "gamblers are vaccinated and ready to lose their whole stimulus checks," he said. "But just up the 15 in Utah, Sen. Mitt Romney had a rough weekend," getting "booed relentlessly by his fellow Republicans."

"I've never seen rude behavior from a group of Mormons before," Kimmel said, but the raspberries for Romney were "music to the ears of one Donald J. Trump," who released a statement cheering Utah Republicans for jeering "stone cold loser" Romney. "Speaking of stone cold losers," he added, Michael Flynn "spoke at a rally of Trump supporters in South Carolina yesterday, and for an ex-military guy who wraps his misdeeds tightly in the flag, he sure did have trouble coming up with the words to the Pledge of Allegiance."

Tooning Out the News found a way to save Romney from the rough GOP crowd. Peter Weber

3:18 p.m.

Actor Matthew McConaughey has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles," Politico reports, suggesting that his hypothetical gubernatorial run in the Lone Star State may actually be in the works.

As Politico notes, McConaughey — who has said entering politics is a "true consideration" and appears to poll quite well in Texas — is widely expected to forego a campaign, but he apparently wants to take folks' "temperature" on the idea, multiple people familiar with the conversations said. One of McConaughey's phone calls was reportedly with a "deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO," which does little to clear up whether he'd run as a Republican, Democrat, or independent.

Regardless of what party McConaughey might affiliate himself with, though, Austin-based GOP strategist Brendan Steinhauser told Politico he's "a little surprised that people aren't taking him more seriously, honestly. Celebrity in this country counts for a lot ... it's not like some C-list actor no one likes." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

2:50 p.m.

While most Americans seem happy to know they don't frequently need to wear a mask if they're vaccinated against COVID-19, there's still quite a bit of confusion about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's specific guidelines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told CBS News' John Dickerson on Sunday that clarity is coming soon. What the CDC will do next, Fauci said, is issue "individual types of guidance" for mask-wearing protocols in, say, a workplace. "I would imagine within a period of just a couple of weeks, you're gonna start to see significant clarification of some of the actual understandable and reasonable questions that people are asking," Fauci said.

Meanwhile, CNN's Dana Bash asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky if she trusts people who are not vaccinated to wear masks (as recommended by the CDC) going forward, given that the new guidance will likely lead to a rollback of state and local mandates. Walensky's response was fairly candid — she said she thinks "the people who are not inclined to wear a mask were not inclined to wear a mask" before her agency updated its guidelines, anyway. Tim O'Donnell

1:55 p.m.

Tensions between the United States and China seem to loom over everything.

During Sunday's United Nations Security Council meeting on the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the U.S. of preventing the council from issuing a unified statement on the situation.

While China's criticism was the most direct, other nations on the council, including Ireland, Norway, and Mexico reportedly made it clear that crafting a statement calling for an immediate cease-fire is an urgent matter. And Ben Rhodes, who worked as the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications and speechwriting in the Obama administration, tweeted that it "feels increasingly untenable for the U.S. to see this loss of civilian life in Gaza — including so many children — and not publicly call for a cease-fire."

At the moment, the U.S. appears to be sticking to the status quo, however. In her remarks during the council meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington is working to end the conflict and will support a cease-fire, but suggested the parties involved in the fighting will have to take the initiative. Tim O'Donnell

12:57 p.m.

Two-thirds of GOP voters don't believe President Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, suggesting former President Donald Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud still have momentum, a CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday found.

At the same time, however, most of those voters think Republican lawmakers should be focusing their energy on proposing "important legislation." In fact, supporting election fraud claims was found to be the least important issue in the survey, trailing economic policy and "culture and values," as well.

The sentiment was also reflected in questions about Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). An overwhelming majority of respondents backed her ouster, but the most popular reason given was that Cheney wasn't on message with the rest of the party, rather than her thoughts on the 2020 election.

Finally, there are more Republican voters who think the party should be expanding the base by emphasizing "policies and ideas" than there are those who believe lawmakers should prioritize "pushing for changes to state voting rules."

The CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted among 951 Republicans in the United States between May 12-14. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points. Read the full results here. Tim O'Donnell

11:43 a.m.

In a televised address Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, flanked by his political rival Benny Gantz, said Israel's military would continue its attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza at "full force" for the time being, suggesting the conflict is not nearing an end. Israeli airstrikes killed at least 42 people and flattened three buildings Sunday.

Netanyahu also appeared on CBS News' Face the Nation, arguing that Israel is acting in self-defense. "[Hamas is] sending thousands of rockets on our cities with the specific purpose of murdering our civilians," Netanyahu told host John Dickerson. "What would you do if it happened to Washington and New York? You know damn well what you'd do."

The prime minister accused Hamas of using Palestinian civilians in Gaza as "human shields," and said the Israeli military is striking "legitimate" targets while remaining "second to none" when it comes to minimizing civilian casualties. He also dismissed the idea that he's using the hostilities as a way to save his political career amid a bribery investigation as "hogwash." Tim O'Donnell

11:07 a.m.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Sunday told Fox News' Chris Wallace that she considers both House Minority Leader (R-Calif.) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who replaced her as the chair of the House Republican Conference last week, "complicit" in spreading former President Donald Trump's lies.

Cheney then reiterated what she's been saying the last few few months as she's come under fire from her GOP colleagues and was ultimately removed from her leadership role — that she isn't willing to back Trump's falsehoods for the sake of the party.

In another interview that aired during Sunday's edition of This Week on ABC News, Cheney told host Jon Karl she doesn't actually think many Republican lawmakers, save for maybe a handful, actually believe Trump's claims that the 2020 election was stolen. But she suggested it's "really dangerous" to cross Trump, so many have fallen in line anyway. "We now live in a country where [members of Congress'] votes are affected because they're worried about their security, they're worried about threats on their lives," she said. Tim O'Donnell

8:25 a.m.

Kate McKinnon reprised her role as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, in the latest Saturday Night Live cold open. McKinnon's Fauci attempted to answer people's questions about the specifics underlying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidelines, which now say that people vaccinated against COVID-19 can mostly toss aside their masks, outdoors and indoors. "A lot of people had questions," McKinnon's Fauci said. "Such as: What does that mean? What the hell are you talking about? Is this a trap?"

So, the fictional Fauci asked a group of doctors from the CDC "who minored in theater" to demonstrate a few different scenarios in which mask-wearing protocols may be unclear, such as picking up kids from school, large outdoor gatherings, or air travel. Things didn't go according to plan, however, and McKinnon's Fauci grew increasingly confused by the message the so-called "CDC Players" were trying to convey in their often-inappropriate, off-the-rails skits. Watch the full sketch below. Tim O'Donnell

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