‘SNL’: Mike Pence takes on coronavirus with ‘MAGA’ face masks; Democratic contenders object

“Saturday Night Live” is taking on the coronavirus.

The NBC show started with a cold open of the Democratic candidates hijacking Vice President Mike Pence’s White House press conference on combating coronavirus. 

“President Trump has put me in charge of the coronavirus even though I don’t believe in science,” Beck Bennett’s Pence said behind a podium. “And I have to admit, this disease has been quite a test of my faith — just like dinosaurs and Timothée Chalamet, but I’m prepared for the challenge.” 

Bennett’s Pence then introduced Ben Carson (Keenan Thompson), who he described as “one of the most brilliant minds in medicine,” to provide a reassuring health update to the masses. 

“I’m Ben Carson, you know the brain surgeon that they put in charge of house development,” said Thompson’s Carson. “Well this is something I actually do know about and in my expert opinion it’s going to be badddd.”

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"Saturday Night Live": (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Beck Bennett as Mike Pence during the "Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open" sketch on November 19, 2016.

Thompson’s Carson likened the coronavirus to Stitch from Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch” and encouraged citizens to purchase a “Make America Great Again” facial mask from the White House website as a precaution against the virus. 

“It may take a couple months for delivery because they are made in Wuhan, China,” Thompson’s Carson added, referring to the Chinese city where the first cases of coronavirus were identified.

The press conference was then transformed into an impromptu Democratic debate after a handful of presidential candidates crashed it with their own insights, including Michael Bloomberg. 

When Bennett’s Pence asked Bloomberg how he got into the press conference, the former New York Mayor (Fred Armisen) said: “I just walked in coughing and everyone got out of my way.”

Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon) wasn’t too far behind. “Did you really think you were going to get away from me that easy,” she said to Bloomberg. “I might be fifth in the polls but I’m No. 1 in your nightmares.”

Bernie Sanders (Larry David) took the opportunity to highlight his health care policy: “You have to admit folks universal health care doesn’t sound so bad right now.”

The other conference crashers included Joe Biden (played by guest host John Mulaney), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch) and Pete Buttigieg (Colin Jost), who said all the other candidates are “at high risk” for the coronavirus.

Watch the full cold open here:

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