Pro-Trump Congressman Matt Gaetz Tried to Make a Chuck Norris Joke About Trump and It Did Not Go Well
President Donald Trump's positive test for the viral pathogen responsible for the global pandemic came as no surprise to most people familiar with the science of communicable diseases. After months of maskless MAGA rallies and meetings, most felt it was a matter of when, not if.
But Trump's diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization has left his most ardent supporters scrambling. For months they echoed Trump's claims that the pandemic was not serious, masks were unnecessary, and only the gravely ill were at risk.
Following social distancing and mask protocols or, worse, succumbing to the virus was viewed as a sign of weakness. But now the President himself—along with an ever growing list of Republican leaders—is infected.
Major Trump fan and Florida GOP Representative Matt Gaetz—whose every interaction with the POTUS leads to selfies on social media—tried to bolster the ailing President's image online.
Co-opting the Chuck Norris tough guy running joke.
"President Trump won't have to recover from [the pandemic]."
"[The pandemic] will have to recover from President Trump. #MAGA"
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
But rather than serve as a rallying cry, Gaetz's tweet was met with mostly derision and laughter online.
Live look at @mattgaetz plagiarizing and repurposing lame Chuck Norris jokes https://t.co/sg0b9nBK3j pic.twitter.com/kQQvRMVcB5
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) October 5, 2020
People wondered what message Gaetz was trying to send.
So, Trump is a deadlier virus than COVID? https://t.co/lCJjBAi2Jw
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 5, 2020
Area Court Jester who wore a gas mask to mock basic hygiene says Trump is far worse. pic.twitter.com/h42JzsC4l1
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) October 5, 2020
What does that even mean?
COVID19 doesn't have human qualities. Containing the pandemic isn't that complicated - but convincing those who are reckless & irresponsible to follow basic behavioral guidelines is, evidently, very difficult.
— MURRAY 🇺🇸🗽 (@murray_nyc) October 5, 2020
COVID19 versus GOP
It's clear who won that battle!#GOPSuperSpreaders
— MURRAY 🇺🇸🗽 (@murray_nyc) October 5, 2020
So, Trump is more sickening than COVID.
Refreshing honesty, Matt.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) October 5, 2020
It will certainly feel disgusted and ashamed of where it's been.
— JRehling (@JRehling) October 5, 2020
Others let Gaetz know that Donald Trump is no Chuck Norris.
He's not Chuck Norris. He's an obese 74 year old.
— Rex Mantlepiece (@DerekP23) October 5, 2020
Matt Gaetz recycling Chuck Norris jokes, which are really just recycled Yakov Smirnoff jokes, because of course Republicans are never more than two degrees removed from Russia. https://t.co/tiCrXTqY6E
— Richard Rowe for Congress (@ReforgeAmerica) October 5, 2020
tell me this is the alcohol talking
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 5, 2020
Matt Gaetz made an out-of-date Chuck Norris joke to suggest that Trump is stronger than #COVID19.
I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that Bruce Lee killed Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon...
Just sayin'... pic.twitter.com/fWRhG22b1I
— 🎃The Black Phillip of the Family🎃 (@CVaidyaAuthor) October 5, 2020
Others took issue with Gaetz himself.
Hey Trump! Last month scientists discovered possible signs of life on Venus and just this morning we discovered Matt Gaetz's puckered lips on Uranus
— StayAtHomeBrad (@brad_stay) October 5, 2020
This kid gets an A+ in social studies. pic.twitter.com/kubryqlSZE
— Eric Brink (@blink1067) October 5, 2020
BEST photobomb ever, well maybe not ever, but pretty damn close.
— InTheShadows (@Debtors_Cartel) October 5, 2020
A message from the office of Matt Gaetz pic.twitter.com/Df2VOlnEtB
— blaire erskine (@blaireerskine) October 5, 2020
Everyone he's come in contact with us at risk. EVERY. ONE.
This is a disgraceful tweet but I wouldn't expect anything else from you.
— Bluebird singin' a song 🌞 (@girlnrdogs) October 5, 2020
Just a reminder that Matt Gaetz still doesn't take this pandemic seriously. https://t.co/OM4I1iNT88
— Phil Ehr (@PhilEhr) October 5, 2020
You think it's a badge of honor to get Covid & survive? Pls tell that to ur constituents who have lost loved ones from it & those (like my Republican mother in FL) who haven't been out of their house since March.Pls tell that to those who didn't get the fancy care & Rx POTUS got.
— Iva Rogers (@IvaARogers) October 5, 2020
It the near future, this example will be cited in textbooks as a classic display of cult leader worship — as if the laws of science don't apply to Trump. Not surprisingly, it's also an insanely irresponsible message for anyone in a leadership position.#MattGaetz #Cultwhorship pic.twitter.com/Zjg3E0Yt0c
— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) October 5, 2020
Ok, Matt. Here's a joke for you.
Q: Why won't the parasitic virus attack @MattGaetz?
A: Professional courtesy.https://t.co/PbQAP8XpVo
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) October 5, 2020
Gaetz, who was first elected in 2016 on a pro-Trump platform, is up for reelection in November.
Gaetz faces Democrat Phil Ehr, a 26 year veteran of the United States Navy who retired in 2008 at the rank of Commander. Ehr is a Naval War College graduate, received a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy State University and represented the Navy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.