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President Joe Biden, played by "Saturday Night Live" cast member James Austin Johnson, knows who's really to blame for surging COVID-19 cases, record-setting inflation and more issues facing Americans: Spider-Man.
This week's opening sketch on the live NBC comedy show featured Johnson's Biden dodging tough questions from reporters during a news conference. His strategy? Chalk everything up to the release of the latest Marvel superhero movie, "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which has earned more than $1.5 billion worldwide.
"America, I'm here to tell you there's one simple thing you can do to make this whole virus go away," he said. "Stop seeing 'Spider-Man.' "
"Think about it," he added. "When did 'Spider-Man' come out? December 17th. When did every single person get omicron? The week after December 17th."
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Hold on a second. "What about experts who say the real problem is a lack of testing?" asked a reporter, played by Bowen Yang.
"You want to know if you have COVID?" the president replied. "Look at your hand. Is it holding a ticket that says you recently went to see 'Spider-Man'? If so, then you have COVID."
And Spider-Man isn't just responsible for omicron, according to Johnson's Biden.
Inflation? That's on Spider-Man. Democrats' struggle to pass a voting bill? Also Spider-Man. The possibility that Russia will invade Ukraine? "I mean, if that doesn't sound like a job for Spider-Man, then I don't know what is," Johnson's Biden said.
Johnson's Biden then launched into a theory about multiple universes – a key plot point in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." When asked about the validity of this theory, the president gave a quip that earned applause from the studio audience: "Doesn't that make more sense than whatever the hell our current world is?"
"Saturday Night Live" was hosted this week by "West Side Story" star Ariana DeBose with musical guest Bleachers.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SNL: Joe Biden blames ‘Spider-Man’ movie for omicron surge, inflation