Citizens of Earth have been living in the pandemic times for the past few months where wearing a face mask, sanitising your hands, and maintaining distance from one another is still considered the most effective way to break the chain of deadly coronavirus.
Yet when Barack Obama slipped on a mask, the Internet came forward to cheer the former US President. Why? Because the current chief Donald Trump has shown quite a hesitation in donning one until very recently when he realised there was no escape from the virus.
On Thursday, Obama delivered a fiery eulogy for longtime U.S. Representative John Lewis, where he took a series of thinly veiled shots at the actions of his successor that he said tore at the legacy of the Black civil rights icon being laid to rest.
The funeral for Lewis, who played an instrumental role in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, came on the same day Republican President Donald Trump suggested the Nov. 3 election could be delayed. Trump has also waged a war against mail-in ballots, a tactic critics say is aimed at suppressing votes.
As he received a standing ovation from those in attendance, it was perhaps Obama reaching for his pocket and swiftly putting on a mask that was cheered more on Twitter.
"Obama putting on his mask like a normal, responsible person, right after eulogizing John Lewis, is a reminder of how much energy and time has been lost covering politicians who simply refused to wear one for no reason that benefits the public," wrote one Twitter user.
A real leader leads by example. Barack Obama can put on a mask so can you. #MaskUp #JohnLewisMemorial pic.twitter.com/OhP3vL4xlk— B E A N Z| Credit Your Photographer Please! (@PhotosByBeanz) July 30, 2020
I hope y’all caught that. After delivering an empowering speech to eulogize #JohnLewis incomparable life, Pres. Obama stopped in front of cameras and before leaving the side of the stage to PUT ON HIS MASK.A subtle but powerful statement from a leader who actually cares. pic.twitter.com/ZsOr1F8ll5— Gia Peppers (@GiaPeppers) July 30, 2020
Notice how Obama put on his mask once he left the stage? That’s what a real leader looks like.— Kevin Rozell (@Zellyanks) July 30, 2020
YES, Barack Obama paused just now so THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES COULD SEE HIM PUT HIS MASK ON.Pitch perfect.— Darryn M. Briggs (@darryn_briggs) July 30, 2020
After finishing his speech and before approaching the Secret Service agent on his detail, President Obama stops to put on a face mask, as recommended by health experts during the pandemic pic.twitter.com/M4Vrq6zBq0— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) July 30, 2020
President Obama put on a face mask after he finished speaking.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 30, 2020
Obama: "We are all so lucky to have had him walk with us for a while and show us the way. God bless you all. God bless America. God bless this gentle soul who pulled it closer its promise. Thank you very much." As he steps away he stops to put on his mask because leaders lead. pic.twitter.com/sEpRXSQo4k— Jeff Hoyle (@Hoopgreen) July 30, 2020
Earlier, in a contrasting incident, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro who had earlier been criticised for downplaying the virus by calling it a "little flu", told journalists in person that he had indeed contracted the infection and backed a few steps before removing his mask and saying, "Just look at my face: I’m fine".
At a time when wearing a face mask and washing hands are a handful of preventive measures to break the chain of the deadly virus, Twitterati showed concerns at the apparent recklessness of the Brazillian President.
(With Reuters inputs)