President Donald Trump was caught glancing up at the solar eclipse without his eclipse glasses several times (video below).
According to Mashable, an estimated 220 million people across the country participated in the solar eclipse viewing party on Aug. 21. While many scientists warned about the potential dangers of staring directly into the eclipse without protective eyewear, there was one very powerful man who could not resist.
Trump stepped out onto the White House Truman balcony with first lady Melania Trump and son Barron Trump. He greeted other viewers as they prepared to watch the historic solar eclipse.
The president then glanced at the sun without any protective eyewear. An aide was heard shouting from below, "Don't look!" according to a White House pool report, The Daily Beast reported.
Trump eventually opted to use the solar eclipse glasses, but still couldn't fight the urge to stare into the eclipse unprotected a couple more times afterward.
The partial eclipse started at 1:17 p.m. in Washington, D.C., reached a peak viewing at 2:42 p.m. and ended 4:01 p.m., The Washington Post reported. The moon covered 81 percent of the sun at one point.
Photos of the president staring up into the sun without glasses quickly went viral on social media. Twitter users in particular had a field day with the images.
"Trump: 'I have great eyes. Great eyes. I looked the sun right in the eye, bigly! Who knew sun was so complicated? Sad,'" wrote one user, imagining how the president must have felt about the eclipse.
"Well, in Trump's defense, someone yelled, 'Don't look!' Now let's tweet, 'Don't resign!'" quipped another.
"He Took N. Korea head-on and now he wants to take on the sun," wrote another user.
"Obamacare will pay for the surgery," joked another.
"Guys, this is serious. What if he goes partially blind?" asked another. "He may never be able to read his totally sincere teleprompted responses again!"
While most of Twitter seized the opportunity to poke fun at the president, others defended Trump.
"I'm not a Trump supporter or TrumpBot but this is really a story?" wrote one user. "Who didn't glance at the sun for a second without protective eyewear?""
"As much as I don't like Trump give it a rest, so did I for a second and so did hundreds of thousands of others - we're human," added another.
Still, others felt the president should set a better example.
"Many [Trump] supporters will say we're making a big deal out of nothing, but most 5-year-olds know better than to look at the sun," wrote one user.