WASHINGTON – There’s literally only one rule with eclipses: Don’t look at the sun during them.
Which brings me to the President of the United States:
That’s Donald John Trump on the White House South Portico, seemingly looking directly into the sun. At the peak of the solar eclipse. Without any sort of protective eyewear on.
This, from the White House pool report of the moment filed by the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs is, um, amazing: “At approximately 2:39, the President initially gesticulated to the crowd below and pointed at the sky. As he did so, one of the White House aides standing beneath the Blue Room Balcony shouted ‘don’t look.'”
Trump did, eventually, put on protective eyewear — as did first lady Melania Trump.
Their son Barron got in on the action too:
Heck, even “beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions got on the protective eyewear bandwagon (alongside Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross)!
Just in case Trump is still President when the next solar eclipse comes in 2024 — it could happen! — here’s a story he should read. Titled “Can you really go blind staring at a solar eclipse?,” CNN’s Ashley Strickland writes:
“The retina may translate light into an electrical impulse that the brain understands, but one thing it can’t translate to your brain is pain. So even if you’re excited about the eclipse and think one brief glimpse at the sun before it completely hides behind the moon is worth it — it’s not. There’s no internal trigger that is going to let you know that you’ve looked at the sun for too long. Any amount of looking at it is too long.
Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.”
Remember, Mr. President: “Any amount of looking is too long.”