For the first time in over a century, a solar eclipse was visible across the United States. Millions of people from all over the country donned special eclipse viewing glasses, and used makeshift colander cameras and cereal box pinhole projectors to safely view the moon pass over the sun — all except President Donald Trump, of course.
Scientists and experts warned the general public for weeks about the dangers of looking directly at this year’s eclipse. But famous climate-change denier Trump stared squinting at the sun during the event, even as a White House aide shouted, "Don't look."
Trump later viewed the eclipse with a pair of protective glasses, but that didn't stop people from reacting to his ignorance.
Melania Trump looked at the eclipse without glasses so she never has to see him again 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/L6qQrXnvfO— Mohamad Hazime (@Mhazime7) August 21, 2017
OUT: Climate change denial.— Jerric Dondarrion (@BostonJerry) August 21, 2017
IN: "Staring directly into the sun can make you go blind" denial.
We are witnessing the de-evolution of man in real time pic.twitter.com/IbN4KDCmrw— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 21, 2017
If the eclipse has taught us anything it's that we can expect Trump Puts Fingers in Plug Socket headlines soon.— strangerbabble (@strangerbabble) August 21, 2017
Trump said he decided to stare directly at the eclipse without shades because Obama didn't.— RAE (@RAE_BK) August 21, 2017
Trump looked without glasses at the eclipse because fake news said you needed them and he knew better— Scott Reed (@sdreed91) August 21, 2017
Literally every news: DON'T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE ECLIPSE— Emily Tran (@emilytran27) August 21, 2017
President I-don't-believe-in-fake-news-or-science Trump: pic.twitter.com/4l82NeFPm4
POTUS looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse is the symbolic nadir of the Trump presidency— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) August 21, 2017
"There are many different sides to this eclipse, not all of them are blinding." -President Trump pic.twitter.com/Mp7UCXJYCz— Ross Bolen (@WRBolen) August 21, 2017
hahaha funny pic of Trump staring at the eclipse anyway he defended Nazis last week pic.twitter.com/1H4jbgRVIL— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) August 21, 2017
Scientists: Don't look straight at sun during eclipse.— Dan Worthington (@danWorthington) August 21, 2017
Trump: Hold my glasses. pic.twitter.com/3MySTJYq4d
TRUMP: So I can just look right at the eclipse right?— Chris Person (@Papapishu) August 21, 2017
NASA: you know what? sure. pic.twitter.com/rxwy2CNMqq
Pruitt assured him that squinting is adequate protection https://t.co/S12KYSt4BP— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 21, 2017
Per sources: Ivanka/Jared among those pushing Trump to keep protective glasses on during eclipse Monday, "disappointed" that he did not...— Benjamin Landy (@Ben_Landy) August 21, 2017
There is no telling why Trump chose to ignore multiple warnings. On Monday, daughter and adviser to the president, Ivanka Trump, posted a boomerang reminding others to wear their own protective gear, but the president apparently did not get the memo.
Perhaps he's tired of reading those lengthy White House addresses off of a teleprompter and needed a worthwhile excuse. Or maybe Trump simply misunderstood that staring directly at an eclipse can impair your vision. After all ,he’s been confused by science before, often mixing up facts about the weather with climate change.
It’s extremely cold in NY & NJ—not good for flood victims. Where is global warming?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012
Record setting cold and snow, ice caps massive! The only global warming we should fear is that caused by nuclear weapons - incompetent pols.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2015
It’s snowing & freezing in NYC. What the hell ever happened to global warming?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2013
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
For Trump, science can be tricky indeed. If scientists hope to change the future of scientific policy in the United States, maybe they should try telling Trump that climate change doesn't exist, and he may take the opposite stance.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque