The president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, looked directly at the solar eclipse on Monday without protective eyewear.
Scientists, newscasters, and moms everywhere repeatedly warned Americans that looking at the eclipse is an easy way to incur permanent retinal damage due to ocular sunburn. Because the lower light levels during the eclipse mean pupils are less responsive, and less likely to constrict, it’s easy to damage the light-sensitive retinal cells in the back of the eye, which never heal. Corneal damage caused by UV exposure can also cause blurred vision and inflammation.
But Trump either forgot about these risks or simply didn’t care. With Melania and Barron at his side, Donald Trump drank in the astronomical phenomena sans protection, much to the horror of the crowd of onlookers gathered in front of the White House balcony.
As Trump lifted his eyes towards the heavens in a display of hubris, one aide reportedly yelled, “Don’t look!” But it was too late, because not only had Trump looked; he had Seen.
Twitter was quick to react to the fact that Trump had dared defy gods and ophthalmologists alike and gazed directly upon the partial solar eclipse. One user was concerned for the president’s safety. Horrified, even.
Others applauded the president’s bravery in refusing to ever listen to anyone who tells him anything.
One user chided Trump for promoting unsafe eclipse-viewing practices.
And a select few recognized Trump’s squint into the sun for what it was: a love letter to ignorance, and an objectively flawless moment.
Happy star-gazing, Mr. President.