What’s the ‘correct’ response to the illness of a public figure? Across social media Thursday night and Friday morning, people reacted to Donald Trump’s announcement that he had tested positive for COVID-19, with some sending prayers, and others declaring it a case of karma, due to the president’s lax pandemic response. Many spoke out to condemn those who were celebrating. In response, a 2016 video of Donald Trump making fun of Hillary Clinton, who was his opponent in the presidential election at the time, for suffering from pneumonia.
Donald Trump has often been criticized for the nasty things he says about others. He’s attacked debate moderators, political opponents, and news reporters. However, when he was hit with COVID-19, his fans were quick to surface with a ready defense, and a pretense of utter shock that anyone could be unkind about the illness of a political figure. Then, this video from 2016 began making the rounds.
Donald Trump mocks Hillary Clinton over her pneumonia outbreak pic.twitter.com/feHjV6cLDa
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) October 2, 2016
In the video, Trump is mocking Clinton for getting sick while on the campaign trail. The former Secretary of State contracted pneumonia during her presidential run, and, as reported by the BBC, kept going. Still, on September 11, 2016, she was hit with a bout of weakness, and forced to leave a memorial service and take time out to rest and recover.
“Here’s a woman, she’s supposed to fight all of these different things, and she can’t make it 15 feet to her car,” Trump said, speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania. By complete coincidence, the day of Trump’s announcement of his diagnosis, is the anniversary of that rally — which perhaps helps explain why the clip surfaced with such ironic timing, as social media users rediscovered it in their Facebook Memories or similar apps that show “on this day” posts.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com