The leader of the free world obviously didn’t get the “social distancing” memo going around.
Donald Trump appeared to set himself up for more meme-fame on Friday, which would have included the hand-to-face emoji, if it weren’t already ironic enough.
The President shook hands with a variety of CEOs during his speech announcing a national emergency to combat the coronavirus, after health experts — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who stood a few feet from the President — have warned against the practice to prevent the spread of the disease.
Social media was flooded with users pointing out how ridiculous it was for these leaders to have physical contact with each other, as the pandemic has 128,000 reported cases and a death toll of nearly 4,700, according to recent media reports.
Doctors: Avoid shaking hands and touching common spaces
Trump Coronavirus Response Team: pic.twitter.com/OBCmp1orje
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 13, 2020
Even more head-spinning, Trump was in contact with Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, just days earlier during a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Wajngarten tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
“Love this news conference,” began one Twitter user, after witnessing Trump’s handshake with the higher-ups of Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. “Since Trump likely has CV-19 as we speak, his shaking hands with all these leaders is basically like decapitating the heads of every major US retailer and drug store in the space of 15 minutes. It just can’t get any clearer how much of a dumbass he is.”
Actor John Cho chimed in, adding, “Oh my god. Trump will not stop shaking everyone’s hands.”
Plus, Trump’s entourage were all huddled relatively close together, definitely avoiding that “social distancing” suggestion that’s been going around.
Dear god. During a press conference about the coronavirus on Friday, Donald Trump couldn't stop touching the microphone—and shaking people's hands. pic.twitter.com/sBqx00Gxu6
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) March 13, 2020
But one executive — EVP of home health care services company LHC, Bruce Greenstein — had the common sense to attempt an elbow bump with Trump, which itself became a viral sensation.
Cardi B posted a clip of the hilarious interaction on her Instagram account with the caption, “Nikka said you AINT SHAKING MY HAND!” as she broke out with a hearty cackle and filmed her friends in the room doing the same.
“Not only did the man try and elbow bump Trump, but Trump had no idea how to do it or what was going on,” wrote a follower, as another posted, “That was the smartest man there other than those who did not shake hands. That elbow bump gesture spoke volumes AND put Trump in his place at the same time. Brilliant.”