A Florida congressman has been mocked online for responding to Donald Trump’s return to the White House with the words: "I will never love another President again!"
Matt Gaetz, 38, made his declaration after the president posted a video of his Monday night discharge from the Walter Reed hospital.
Trump ordered his aides to film him on the Truman Balcony of the White House, so he could deliver a message to the American people.
As the sun was setting he removed his face mask and announced that he was “going back to work”, saying he became infected with coronavirus because he was on the front lines, “out front”.
“As your leader, I had to do that,” Trump said in the video.
"I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did.
I will never love another President again! https://t.co/KntLywoHcf
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 6, 2020
“And I know there’s a risk. There’s a danger. But that’s okay, and now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune. I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there.”
Gaetz was evidently moved by the president’s rousing speech.
His gushing declaration sparked amusement online, however.
The Lincoln Project, a coalition of anti-Trump Republicans campaigning to unseat Trump, tweeted: “It’s getting weird.”
It’s getting weird...
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 6, 2020
Other social media users described his response as “embarrassing” and “ludicrous”.
One said it took “weird, creepy and inappropriate” to a whole other level.
Another said it made the White House look like a cult.
Wow. Just when I think you can't be anymore embarrassing or ludicrous
— Shar E. 🌊🌼🌊🌷🌊🌸🌊🌈🌺💙 (@shurtis123) October 6, 2020
— Masked Mark Masek (@CemeteryGuide) October 6, 2020
This is exactly what a cult looks like!
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) October 6, 2020
Gaetz, whose Twitter bio boasts that he was described by Trump as “a machine...handsome and going places”, faced further ridicule the day before.
President Trump won't have to recover from COVID.
COVID will have to recover from President Trump. #MAGA
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 5, 2020
On Monday morning, when doctors were weighing up releasing the president from Walter Reed, Gaetz tweeted: “President Trump won't have to recover from Covid. Covid will have to recover from President Trump.”
The quote was a riff on Chuck Norris’ famous declaration, sparking a surge in search for the 80-year-old martial arts expert’s most famous lines.
Gaetz was laughed at for the fawning quote.
“Joe Biden won't have to recover from Covid,” one responded. “Because Joe Biden took the necessary steps to avoid becoming infected.”