During his first in-person rally since his coronavirus diagnosis, President Donald Trump broke into dance. Greeting supporters in Sanford, Florida Monday, Trump, at one point, showed off his best moves as the Village People's hit song YMCA played.
The Monday evening event came less than two weeks after the president announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, setting off a string of diagnoses in the White House. Trump was briefly hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center after experiencing a fever and low oxygen levels, though he was soon discharged. On Monday, just ahead of his return to the campaign trail, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley confirmed the president had tested negative for the virus and is "not infectious to others."
President Trump dancing to the YMCA after his Florida rally tonight— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 13, 2020
Speaking to his large crowd of supporters, Trump, addressing his COVID-19 battle, again claimed that he was now immune to the virus. He also said that he felt "so powerful." Many in the crowd, meanwhile, did not abide by the recommended social distancing guidelines, and while face masks were recommended, they were not required.
Shortly after the event, during which Trump tossed face masks to the crowd, "Village People" and "YMCA" started trending on Twitter on people discussed the now-viral moment. Keep scrolling to see how social media reacted to Trump dancing.
Not only a great President, but he’s got the moves! Love it! 🇺🇸🇺🇸— Patti krall (@PK_atti_rall) October 13, 2020
For his brief dance, the president forwent the typical dance moves that go with the iconic song. Instead of performing the iconic YMCA dance routine by spelling the letters with his arms, Trump opted for subtler hand and leg motions. In all, the dance was brief, lasting only a handful of seconds as the crowd cheered him on to the lyrics, "Young man, are you listening to me? I said, young man, what do you want to be?"prevnext
The village people are the only group that hasnt given Trump a cease and desist order to stop playing their music because its seriously funny to watch homophobes dance to a gay anthem.— mike (@1kingsbay) October 13, 2020
middle aged white ppl hate gays but love doing the ymca dance— da (vince)y? (@_vicne) October 12, 2020
One person noted that while the song appears "to extol the virtues of the [YMCA]… in gay culture from which the Village People stemmed, the song is understood as celebrating YMCA’s reputation as a popular cruising & hookup spot, particularly for younger gay men. And once more for the particularly delusional or hard of thinking: Trump's support base is the Christian Right – who hate gay people. You’re welcome."prevnext
For many, the conversation quickly turned back to the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has faced increased criticism. As of this posting, confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States have surpassed 7.8 million, with deaths reaching more than 215,000. Many believe that these numbers were preventable, and that Trump did not act quickly enough or take serious actions to prevent the spread. The president has faced increased scrutiny following his own coronavirus diagnosis and his decision to return to the campaign trail so quickly.
Trump celebrates the US death toll surpassing 220,000 by dancing to gay anthem YMCA at a #Florida rally at which a maskless Governor #DeathSantis high-fived attendees even as the state surpassed 15,000 deaths & neared 750,000 cases. #TrumpRallyFlorida pic.twitter.com/K5sL9TMSz8— Richard Hine (@richardhine) October 13, 2020
Dancing on the graves of 210,000 Americans......— Jake the Rake (@Nittorious) October 13, 2020
Without a mask on. While he's infected.— Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Black lives matter. (@CallMeFreak3) October 13, 2020
Speaking to Bloomberg News through a spokesman after Trump used the song back in September, Victor Willis of the Village People said that the president was welcome to use the song, and break out in dance, at his rallies. In a statement, Willis said that "'YMCA' is everybody’s anthem and go-to song for fun. As for the president's use, I have not granted permission for use at his rallies because permission is not required." He added that if he were "a Trump hater maybe I'd sue him simply out of spite," though because he is not, "I'm not going to have my lawyers sue the president." Willis did quip that Trump should "at least do the 'YMCA' dance while he's at it."prevnext
While Trump's dance moves certainly gained plenty of attention, Anderson Cooper's reaction to it was just as popular. As people tuned into CNN, they couldn't help but notice the look on Anderson’s face, with one person writing, "watch as Anderson Cooper stares off into the middle distance upon realizing that Trump is using gay anthem 'YMCA' to amp up his radically homophobic base at a mask free rally after testing positive for COVID-19 less than 2 weeks ago."
Anderson had to zip his lips shut! He was about ready to crack 😆 up!— CarolVoteBlueyourlifedependsonIt (@Lavooe618) October 13, 2020
Anderson Cooper's self-control is the stuff of legends.— Jules Decker 🎭 Biden/Harris 2020 (@decker_jules) October 13, 2020
YMCA.... a socialized program.... sung by the Village People.... several of whom were gay... is quite the choice. https://t.co/Ed7EbDVZoD— April (@ReignOfApril) October 13, 2020
I’ve never seen someone do the ‘YMCA’ with their feet but then again, he’s a fucking idiot. pic.twitter.com/gxMuBV3T3y— Jordy (@J_Mei21) October 13, 2020
Among the flurry of comments, several people made it clear that they were not a fan of the president's dance moves. In one tweet, somebody quipped, "Reason enough to vote for Joe Biden: watch Trump dance to 'YMCA'." Another person dubbed the dance "cringeworthy," with another simply asking, "If he's going to dance to YMCA, can't he at least do the right movements?" Responding, somebody else took another dig at the dance, stating that Trump "has no rhythm."prevnext
Does Trump know the song was written and performed by gay men?— John Greene (@jsgreene55) October 13, 2020
Should we tell him what it’s about?— Nandita Shenoy (@NanditaShenoyNY) October 13, 2020
Monday night did not mark the first time the president has used one of the Village People's songs at his rallies. During a rally in Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, India in February, the president blasted "Macho Man." Shortly after, the Village People released a statement on Facebook in which they said that "since our music is not being used for a specific endorsement, the President's use is 'perfect[ly]' legal." Noting that Trump had "remained respectful in his use of our songs and has not crossed the line," they added that"“our music is all-inclusive and certainly everyone is entitled to do the YMCA dance, regardless of their political affiliation. Having said that, we certainly don't endorse his use as we'd prefer our music be kept out of politics."prev