There are many things I find concerning about the current President of the United States and many of those concerns are aptly summed up in this photograph of him looking directly at the sun, without wearing protective glasses.
👀 Despite warnings from every friggin’ doctor and scientist in the country, Trump watched the solar eclipse WITHOUT wearing safety glasses! pic.twitter.com/V0ISkB1vHL
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) August 21, 2017
Given the squint, it’s clear this photograph isn’t taken during the full eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun, resulting in a short period when you can take a better look. I also later learnt Washington D.C was not on its path of totality.
The picture was taken after Trump stepped out onto the White House balcony with the First Lady and their son Barron to check out the eclipse in front of a group of reporters. The three did have protective glasses and wore them at times, but Trump was still determined to see the spectacle with his own eyes.
As The Atlantic sums up the event:
According to White House reporters, an aide shouted a warning that he should not look at the sun. Nevertheless, he persisted.
To be frank, it’s not Trump’s eyes I’m concerned about.
It’s the fact that even despite the advice of someone with some common sense, Trump decided to take a look anyway. The reasons to not look directly at a solar eclipse are relatively straightforward. So clear that my almost four-year-old made the point to me this morning over his breakfast, “there’s no safe amount of time to look directly at the sun.”
Nevertheless, Trump seemingly knew better.
Perhaps it’s arrogance – not even a giant ball of hot plasma with the potential to burn retinas has the capacity to perturb him.
Perhaps it’s genuine disbelief (cough, ignorance) in the experts, including NASA. (What do they actually know?)
Or perhaps it’s simply stupidity.
Most likely, it’s a toxic combination of all three.
After taking a good look with his naked eyes, Trump returned to his eclipse viewing glasses. His ego a little damaged, along with his retinas, he learnt he couldn’t actually “handle” the sun.
Fully outfitted. pic.twitter.com/qPlFkBdMzZ
— Ted Mann (@TMannWSJ) August 21, 2017