The Brief: On Twitter, people shared mixed responses and memes to news that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
In the minutes following President Donald Trump’s tweet that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, Twitter erupted with reactions, including many memes. While the President’s supporters sent their virtual thoughts and prayers, those who oppose Trump, especially those who see him as a harmful and hateful figure, reveled in the diagnosis through jokes, tweets, and memes.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Hashtags and phrases including #TrumpHasCovid, “TRUMP GOT COVID,” “Rona,” Miss Rona,” and “HOAX” started trending on Twitter shortly after Trump announced his positive test results.
Trump: The Coronavirus is just a hoax
— 𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐱 (@worshipaIex) October 2, 2020
anti-maskers calling for thoughts and prayers rn pic.twitter.com/DDI6fTfB2q
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) October 2, 2020
More than one person made a connection between real-life and a certain Simpson’s episode:
Oh so we’re on this episode of The Simpson’s now pic.twitter.com/SIrMwV7IgR
— 👁👄👁 (@jdeegeee1230) October 2, 2020
Did anyone get BINGO yet?
Who had Donald & Melania get COVID on their October surprise bingo card?
— Kona's Mom🦮🎶🎭🌊 (@iamrachelwolf) October 2, 2020
A reference to Trump’s praise of hydroxychloroquine and his address to the white supremacist group known as the Proud Boys:
Hydroxychloroquine stand back and stand by
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 2, 2020
A nod to Trump’s comments that disinfectants could be used to treat Coronavirus:
Get the man some bleach.
— colton dunn (@captdope) October 2, 2020
Don’t tweet it Billy don’t tweet it put down the phone
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 2, 2020
what do you think twitter would have been like when caesar got stabbed because i feel like this is a good approximation
— sailor kepler-186f (@matchafrosting) October 2, 2020
Get you a man who wakes you up to tell you the President has COVID.
— Kristen Bartlett (@kristencheeks) October 2, 2020
— ribka #rentstrike (@redpomgranat) October 2, 2020
As this news circulates, some people are speculating on Twitter that this announcement may be a hoax.
that’s gonna be the headline when this turns out to be a stunt to introduce a vaccine that he and Melania will “take“
— Molly Lambert 🦔 (@mollylambert) October 2, 2020
— lilia ☭ ☠︎ (@ittybittykatya) October 2, 2020
Beyond Twitter, TikTok and other social media platforms are buzzing as people share their emotions and wonder how this might affect the election. Less than an hour after Trump tweeted about testing positive, videos under the hashtag #TrumpHasCovid have been viewed over 539,000 times on TikTok.