Donald Trump
Donald Trump stares directly at the solar eclipse. Pictured: Trump looks up toward the Solar Eclipse on the Truman Balcony at the White House on Aug. 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Getty Images/Mark Wilson

It is not safe to stare directly at the solar eclipse, just like what President Donald Trump did.

On Monday, the United States experienced the glory of a solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow swept the rocky beaches of Oregon to the South Carolina. According to New York Times, it lasted for over an hour and a half. This has not happened in the country since 1979.

Following the anticipated solar eclipse, Twitter exploded after learning that Trump started directly at the sun. In the photos shared by E! News, the president looked at the solar eclipse without any eclipse glasses. Some were concerned while others made fun of it.

“NO MR. PRESIDENT, NOOOOOOO,” Lachlan Markay, a political reporter wrote on Twitter. Meanwhile, another user made a meme of the photo. “I want someone to look at me the way Trump looks at the eclipse,” oneyun da prophet wrote.

The doctors strongly cautioned against staring directly at the solar eclipse as it can result in permanent eye damage or cause blindness by burning the retinas. Peeking for a few seconds directly at the eclipsed sun is also discouraged as it may cause great destruction in one’s eyesight.

“It can range from blurry vision to absolute permanent vision loss,” Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association told The New York Times (via E! News).

NASA also discouraged direct staring at the sun except during the brief total phase when the moon blocks the sun’sface entirely. It is recommended to use special solar filters or handheld solar viewers for safety.

Sveta Kavali, an ophthalmologist and retina specialist at Saint Louis University also said the same thing. She added that “damage is typically irreversible, and there’s no treatment for this.”

“The way the damage occurs on a cellular basis is that the UV rays from the sun induces a photochemical reaction that damages the photo receptors of the retina, and the part of the retina that’s damaged is the part that’s responsible for your central vision,” Kavali continued. “So it’s very important not to look at the partial eclipse, not to look at the sun, without the proper viewing protection.”

In another photo, Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, wore special glasses to view the solar eclipse.

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