Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test result has sent a shockwave through American politics the country hasn’t seen in decades, drawing comparisons to fictional depictions of the president of the United States because there are few real-life examples of what’s currently happening in Washington.
On Friday evening, word broke that Trump would be helicoptered to Walter Reed Hospital in DC to continue his treatment for COVID-19, of which reports emerged on Friday that he was experiencing symptoms. With few official statements about his status and news he was heading to a hospital, though social media was abuzz about what was happening and the status of the president and the potential fallout in other positive tests from those around him.
We’ve already seen some viral shenanigans involving a misleading Simpsons meme about Trump. And uncertainty breeds rumors and speculation, which perhaps is why Dave started trending on Twitter on Friday night. The 1993 movie, which starred Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, is about some serious presidential shenanigans that some were reminded of when Trump posted a brief video of himself assuring followers he was fine despite going to the hospital.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I’m doing very well, but we are going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said in the 18-second video. “The First Lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it.”
That served as the only update from the White House for several hours on Friday, which caused rampant speculation about what was actually going on and the health of the president. Which is why many who saw Dave started referencing the movie on Twitter.
I've seen the 1993 Kevin Kline classic "Dave" and know exactly what is going on, here.
— Jessica Galliart (@JessicaGalliart) October 2, 2020
Right now the White House staff is frantically renting the movie Dave…
— Jeffrey Lieber (@JeffLieber) October 2, 2020
anyone wondering how this is going to play out has obviously never seen Dave pic.twitter.com/Zd3rHoO2xt
— ryan (@ryanhzr) October 2, 2020
Some speculation got far more wild than that, but the reason for the Dave references is simple: the movie’s plot revolves around a president who occasionally has a body double, who gets much more involved in things when the actual president has a medical emergency. The actual details of the plot are far more outlandish than what’s actually happening, as we only know that Trump has experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 thus far. But the word “Dave” quickly trended on social media on Friday night.
Obviously there’s no evidence that Trump has a body double, but the very different demeanor the president had on Friday — and the lack of information the White House shared with the public about his health — inevitably led to people speculating wildly. Considering how tough the news is these days, it might not be a bad idea to lose yourself in an underrated classic this weekend instead of doomscrolling about what’s happening in real life.