Is Donald Trump working hard or hardly working?
That’s the question on the minds of Americans after the White House released two photos of Donald Trump on Saturday, which reportedly show the president hard at work in his hospital suite at Walter Reed Medical Center. Trump was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday night following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
The photos, taken by Joyce N. Boghosian, show Trump with a Sharpie in hand, looking down at several pieces of paper. In one photo he’s seen wearing a blue blazer and writing while seated at a table in the same room he recorded a video from on Saturday. And in the other photo, Trump is seen sitting in the presidential conference room at Walter Reed with his jacket off.
Since the White House released the two photos, they’ve made their way around social media thanks to shares from reporters and Trump family members like Ivanka and Eric. But many people are deeply confused by the photos and feel that they’re part of a ridiculously transparent publicity stunt.
A tweet from Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief of the Air Current, notes that per the EXIF (exchangeable image file format) data embedded in the wire images shared by the White House, the photos of Trump working at Walter Reed were taken just 10 minutes apart.
The photos released by the WH tonight of the president working at Walter Reed were taken 10 minutes apart at 5:25:59 pm and 5:35:40 pm ET Saturday, according to the EXIF data embedded in both @AP wire postings that were shared by the White House this evening. pic.twitter.com/EzeqIkGdf7
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) October 4, 2020
Ostrower explained that per the data, the photo of Trump with his jacket on was taken Saturday at 5:25:59 p.m. ET, and the one of him without his jacket was taken at 5:35:40 p.m. ET.
The fact that Trump is shown in two different locations with two different wardrobes seemed to suggest that these photos were taken at different times — during different moments of work. But if the timestamps are any indication, the photos don’t appear to be taken so organically.
Many Twitter users believe that a photoshoot of Trump working was staged, and that after a shot was taken with his jacket on he moved to the conference room and posed for another shot with his jacket off. Some have even noted that the same “props” accompanied Trump into the conference room.
It ultimately remains unclear what Trump was working on or if he was working at all, but the fact of the matter is that he’s in the hospital being treated for a potentially deadly virus and the American people expect him to be recovering so that he can get back to the White House ASAP.