As you've likely heard, the stock market has not been doing so well, with many investors scared of the effect the novel coronavirus COVID-19 will have on the global economy.
President Donald Trump, however, has never been one to take his eye off the most important thing: his own reputation.
On March 8, as many Americans thought nervously about their 401k's or the health of their loved ones, Trump retweeted a very strange meme originally posted by his social media director, Dan Scavino.
Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me! https://t.co/rQVA4ER0PV— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1583705915.0
Of course, Trump most likely did not understand the meaning of the image.
Many online suspect that whoever originally photoshopped Trump's head onto the violin was referencing the famous legend of Emperor Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned.
@realDonaldTrump Fiddle while Rome burns. To do something trivial and irresponsible in the midst of an emergency; l… https://t.co/SPiMbOCrw3— Morten Øverbye (@Morten Øverbye)1583706202.0
The president, who is goofing off at his golf resort as his administration's train wreck of a pandemic response goe… https://t.co/jspKQ6dYa5— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub)1583706388.0
I was a day early with my "Nero fiddles while Rome burns" reference, apparently https://t.co/1W2JadieiX— Parker Molloy (@Parker Molloy)1583709006.0
Trump's tweet also contained an extra layer of irresponsibility.
"Nothing can stop what's coming" is a common phrase amongst QAnon conspiracy theorists, who have been responsible for multiple acts of violence in Trump's name.
In their eyes, Trump's tweet acted as yet another wink in their direction.
The American Nero fiddles while the U.S. burns. https://t.co/LVEPr1HDyZ— Richard W. Painter (@Richard W. Painter)1583708764.0
You see, Nero was a decadent and unpopular ruler. In fact, he's remembered as one of the cruelest and most sadisti… https://t.co/XEq0Hf3Udk— Teri Kanefield (@Teri Kanefield)1583713438.0
@realDonaldTrump It means that playing golf while Americans die during an uncontained epidemic makes you look like… https://t.co/LeE1bBvXul— Frank Figliuzzi (@Frank Figliuzzi)1583709531.0
Many compared Nero's fiddling to Trump's golf—the President played all weekend while multiple states dealt with the coronavirus.
Nero is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more https://t.co/NrBhRXNRLY— Max Weiss (@Max Weiss)1583711375.0
@realDonaldTrump Lazy Nero?— John Weaver (@John Weaver)1583706416.0
@jwgop @realDonaldTrump I was about to write the same thing: It means Donald Trump is fiddling while America burns.… https://t.co/4pu5E83XAw— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol)1583706659.0
Others took a much simpler meaning away from Trump's strange retweet.
I know what it means. You’re cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. https://t.co/QwMDANN4y7— George Conway (@George Conway)1583712746.0
@realDonaldTrump It means that you are fiddling while Rome burns. You might want to look up what happened to Nero.— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1583708563.0
Nero, with fiddle. https://t.co/islKvtRdhM— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer)1583708068.0
Understanding history means understanding the present.
@realDonaldTrump Trump: “Who knows what’s this means, but it sounds good to me!” Me: “Somebody wanted to make you… https://t.co/EB37AflRwu— Santa Claus, CEO (@Santa Claus, CEO)1583708549.0
@realDonaldTrump It means that Nero fiddled while Rome was burning, but you play golf and post stupid memes while m… https://t.co/F5wNTbBtW8— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1583710727.0
@realDonaldTrump It means Trump is just like Nero, but instead of playing the fiddle while Rome burns, Trump plays… https://t.co/hJafBJpoQy— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1583706074.0
Memes like this would be funnier if Trump was responsible for the safety and well-being of millions.
@realDonaldTrump It's true. The coronavirus will wreck havoc on America, and your inaction, incompetence, and atte… https://t.co/EQs6DTgBUY— William LeGate 🧢 #ByeDon 2020 (@William LeGate 🧢 #ByeDon 2020)1583706310.0
When your own social media director is posting Nero images during your disastrous pandemic response, do you a) try… https://t.co/MmJnZ4kDtU— Hari Kunzru (@Hari Kunzru)1583709345.0
Someone’s never heard of Nero... https://t.co/esu9rpOjNx— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck)1583706003.0
At least Trump will get a new campaign slogan out of this whole debacle!
Nero 2020: Keep Rome Great! https://t.co/EiRMc3mWEx— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse)1583716132.0
While America is in crisis, it seems the President can't be helped to do anything but repost memes about himself. What have we become?