President Donald Trump participated in the rare solar phenomenon on Monday by witnessing the solar eclipse. As Trump looked toward the sun void of protective glasses, his actions could be construed by some as his ego at play with a seemingly act of defiance against the scientific community.
Soon after President Trump’s photo circulated looking directly at the Sun during the eclipse, innuendos that Trump was perhaps challenging the theory of scientists by staring directly into the solar eclipse without protective glasses persisted— showing the entire nation exactly what not to do.
Despite First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron resisting the temptation to stare directly at the sun, which can cause retinal damage and even blindness, Trump looked toward the sun with a visible squinting of the eyes before donning protective glasses.
An aide in the crowd below was heard shouting “Don’t look!” as Trump looked upward.
Social media immediately took note, mocking Trump for doing what scientists and optometrists have warned against for weeks.
President Donald Trump watching the eclipse with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron (Andrew Harnik/AP)
— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2017
Viewers of the total solar eclipse were told to wear ISO certified glasses to watch the historic event since regular sunglasses would not protect the eyes from the sun’s intense glare. Watching it with no protection at all was even more dangerous and raised the risk of going blind.
Vice President Pence and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions were spotted checking out the eclipse donning protective eyewear—Perhaps they got the memo along with other members of the Trump administration.
The Trump family perhaps should have followed the lead of the Bush family, who tweeted a photo showing several members — including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — watching the eclipse with proper protection.
The photo was first circulated by a Wall Street Journal reporter on Twitter. According to the tweet, a staffer was heard yelling at Trump not to look directly at the eclipse. Shortly thereafter, President Trump and the First Lady, Melania, was seen taking in the astronomical phenomenon with the help of NASA-approved eclipse glasses.
Staring into the solar eclipse — North America’s first total solar eclipse in nearly 40 years — could cause irreversible damage to the eyes by burning your retinas. Even staring directly at the sun for a few seconds could cause the damage. Dr. Christophy Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, explained to the New York Times that “the damage] can range from blurry vision to absolute permanent vision loss.”
By LeNora Millen 08-21-17