Rep. Matt Gaetz got mocked Monday for tweeting a repackaged Chuck Norris joke while wishing President Donald Trump recovery from COVID-19.
“President Trump won’t have to recover from COVID,” wrote the Florida Republican. “COVID will have to recover from President Trump.”
He added a hashtag — #MAGA — but what ended up trending was Chuck Norris, the one-time action film star. In the early 2000s, Norris saw a resurgence in relevance as jokes about his strength and fighting skills took over early blogging platforms. The “[threat] will recover from Chuck Norris” format was a big one at the time. The jokes have not been popular in over a decade.
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But the left-leaning Twitterverse wasted no time to tease the Florida Republican for resurfacing the meme. “So, Trump is a deadlier virus than COVID?” comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted.
Some users of the site used the opportunity to mock Trump’s past viral moments, like videos of him maneuvering a ramp or awkwardly drinking water. One commenter, asked: “Does Chuck Norris fight a ramp or a glass of water in his next film?”
Others made broader observations about the way Trump’s base sees him as the indefatigable fighter the old jokes about Norris portrayed the action hero. “honestly this tweet gets at something ive been thinking about for awhile,” one media manager tweeted, “which is that trump supporters think trump is the version of chuck norris from all those s—ty early aughts jokes.”
Still others compared Norris and Trump for their beliefs, not their strengths. Norris has written for right-wing sites and supported Trump in the 2016 election.
Trump announced Thursday night he tested positive for COVID-19. He was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center Friday and has not yet been discharged, although he did break quarantine to drive by supporters in a vehicle Sunday.
See more responses below.
So, Trump is a deadlier virus than COVID? https://t.co/lCJjBAi2Jw
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 5, 2020
Matt Gaetz eclipsing Eric and Don Jr. in the tone of deep despair surrounding their pathetic clamoring for daddy Trump’s approval https://t.co/NSmmiHICuT
— Cam Kasky (@cameron_kasky) October 5, 2020
— Barbara Comstock (@BarbaraComstock) October 5, 2020
Using bluster to defeat the coronavirus has been a principal strategy of President Trump's closest supporters. pic.twitter.com/fXTffWIHgt
— alexander nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) October 5, 2020
You know Gaetz has a full time staffer retrofitting Chuck Norris jokes to fit Trump. https://t.co/Jqm3X4pi65
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) October 5, 2020