President Donald Trump and far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity are close, to say the least.
Hannity's show functions as an arm of the President's media efforts to deceive his supporters into believing that only those who wholeheartedly adore Trump can be trusted. As recently as 2018, the pair frequently had long conversations nearly every night.
But things took an interesting turn on Tuesday.
That very afternoon, during an appearance in the Rose Garden, the President mocked a reporter for being "politically correct" by following CDC guidelines and wearing a face mask while in public. Trump's remark was a continuation of his frequent dismissal of the need for masks—which health experts say are crucial to preventing the spread of the virus from asymptomatic carriers to vulnerable populations.
Last week, Trump told the press he wouldn't give them "the pleasure" of seeing him in a mask. Even when announcing the new regulations last month, he specified that he didn't intend to wear one.
Given Trump's frequent skepticism of face masks, this segment from Hannity came as a surprise.
Hannity on Lake of The Ozarks Video: There’s no mask wearing here that I see... I see no social distancing. But if… https://t.co/TriqrqLRmq— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1590543542.0
Hannity was addressing a recent video from Memorial Day weekend which showed massive crowds at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks resort. The video went viral, prompting outrage at the hundreds of patrons who weren't socially distancing or wearing masks as the death toll from the virus edged closer to 100 thousand.
"I understand these are young people. Experts keep saying over and over they're at a much lower risk...I see no social distancing. But if they get the virus and they're in contact with older more vulnerable Americans, that could be a disaster for others...Please wear the mask for your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa."
In the past, Hannity has frequently downplayed the threat of the virus, even calling it a hoax, so this segment had many wondering what prompted the change of heart.
Some think it comes down to a key voting demographic: seniors, whom are most vulnerable to the virus.
In the early stages of the outbreak in the United States, the President frequently dismissed the threat posed by the virus in hopes of not disrupting financial markets, and continued to botch the distribution of crucial medical equipment to affected states. Notable Republicans defending Trump made absurd statements in support of grandparents risking their lives in order to let their grandchildren go back to work.
Now, 43 percent of virus deaths have been in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
As a result, polls have shown a precipitous drop in support for Trump among seniors since the virus upended daily life. Quinnipiac shows Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 10 points among those 65 and older. An April poll from Fox News shows Trump trailing voters above 45 as well.
Is Hannity trying to shore up more support from seniors?
Credit to Hannity for saying this though I suspect it means he’s done the math on Trump’s eroding support among sen… https://t.co/SZ8e6tEFRq— Liz Mair (@Liz Mair) 1590580539.0
Hannity has seen how poorly Trump is polling with seniors. https://t.co/UEoM1y8XnL— Samurai Cat (@Samurai Cat) 1590547086.0
@Acyn @ChrisMurphyCT Sooo... Hannity has seen DT’s declining favorability among seniors and rethought the whole “Le… https://t.co/BJ3CyWkx5y— Shawna L. (@Shawna L.) 1590552017.0
@jimmykimmel @seanhannity OMG! Did Hannity really say that? Maybe he & Trump finally realized that senior citizens… https://t.co/Yn1hs98ztl— Ellen W (@Ellen W) 1590580944.0
Translation: Do it for those Seniors that have turned their backs on Trump in Florida. https://t.co/5fdtCOoflp— Peter Morley (@Peter Morley) 1590546506.0
Someone just realized that old people can’t vote for Trump if they’re dead and might not if their friends all die. https://t.co/wsCKhl4nBe— Charles Gaba (@Charles Gaba) 1590551162.0
Regardless, Hannity's lack of fealty to Trump was out of character.
Wtf is going on? https://t.co/QFGb5vr0TW— Melissa Bailey-Biden (@Melissa Bailey-Biden) 1590544782.0
Wow. Just wow. Is this because the lawyers stepped in? Or is Hannity just worried about losing too much of his audi… https://t.co/SS0n0bGSgc— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@Khashoggi’s Ghost) 1590544106.0
What?! Did they unplug him and plug him back in? A hard reboot perhaps? Or did he get a call from the Fox lawyers? https://t.co/yovq8PvUQq— Lola Gayle (@Lola Gayle) 1590576348.0
Hopefully, people will heed Hannity's warnings over the President's.