trump hospital memes

Screengrab of 2001: A Space Odyssey via YouTube

Trump not ‘staying in any old hospital room’ becomes unexpected meme

The president is staying in a six-room VIP suite at Walter Reed.


Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 4, 2020   Updated on Oct 4, 2020, 3:22 pm CDT

President Trump’s stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following a positive COVID-19 test on Friday has largely taken over the news, between speculation over the truth behind his health and concern from both sides over what this could mean from the election.

But the internet is always going to stay true to form, and Trump’s hospital visit has also brought forth a new meme.

Reporter Richard Southern shared photos of the VIP suite at Walter Reed as it looked back in 2007, noting that “U.S. president Trump isn’t staying in any old hospital room.”

“Walter Reed Hospital has a six-room presidential suite just for the commander-in-chief that includes an intensive care unit, a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, and a dining room with a crystal chandelier,” he continued.

Despite the photos being from 2007, the suite itself is jarringly outdated, featuring archaic electronics alongside flatscreen TVs, nestled among everybody’s grandmother’s furniture and color scheme. 

But top-of-the-line care in a potentially outdated suite is obviously far better care than most COVID-19 patients in the United States have been able to receive. It was only months ago that patients were being turned away unless they had life-threatening symptoms, and sometimes even then, when the hospitals were too full.

It’s likely the class disparity highlighted by Trump’s medical care during this time, along with the aesthetic of such an explicitly old-fashioned series of rooms, that prompted others to begin sharing other photos alongside Southern’s initial caption, often of hyper-stylized or ostentatious locations.

Other versions of the meme took a little more liberty with the format.

In one of the most notable examples, user @joolsd included photos from the creepy bedroom at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in the meme.

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*First Published: Oct 4, 2020, 3:21 pm CDT