Jennifer Aniston, John Oliver take on mask-wearing and COVID conspiracy theories

Jennifer Aniston in 2016
Jennifer Aniston posted a hospital picture of a friend who had COVID-19 and implored people to wear masks.
(Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)

After months of marinating in COVID-19 restrictions, celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and John Oliver are doing what they can to make people believe the truth, not conspiracy theories, about the disease.

Aniston shared a scary photo Sunday of a hospitalized friend whom she said had no underlying health conditions to raise his risk of a bad outcome from the virus. In the photo, the man is on a ventilator, eyes closed, with lots of wires and tubes attached to him or hanging nearby.

“This is our friend Kevin. Perfectly healthy, not one underlying health issue. This is Covid. This is real,” Aniston wrote. “We can’t be so naive to think we can outrun this...if we want this to end, and we do, right? The one step we can take is PLEASE #wearadamnmask.”


Fortunately, Aniston said, that photo was taken in early April, and her friend has now “almost recovered” from COVID-19.

“Just think about those who’ve already suffered through this horrible virus. Do it for your family. And most of all yourself. Covid affects all ages,” she pleaded. The post followed one from June 30 that also promoted the wearing of masks.

Aniston included a photo of herself with pal Courteney Cox, both of them masked up. With the help of a couple of pups, Cox posted a video on her Instagram account, also promoting mask-wearing.

Oliver, meanwhile, had his eye on quelling novel coronavirus conspiracy theories.

“The coronavirus has created a perfect storm for conspiracy theorists, because their theories are everywhere,” he said on his Sunday HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.”

He highlighted the widely circulated and widely debunked video “Plandemic” and others for promoting worrisome ideas. Then he took “Plandemic” his own way, step by step.

Masks do not reduce blood oxygen levels or increase carbon dioxide levels, a UC San Francisco infectious disease specialist says.

In response, he’s promoting his own “The True True Truth” videos, made with the help of Alex Trebek, Catherine O’Hara, Billy Porter, John Cena and Paul Rudd. While Oliver recommended the Trebek video to show to conspiracy-minded grandparents, the Cena video was slightly more visually compelling, as the wrestler-actor stripped off his shirt. And Porter was a hoot, as usual.

Those videos can be found on

“If you’re looking to start a conversation with someone, picking one of these videos is actually a pretty good starting point,” Oliver said.