‘Nero’ trends after meme Trump retweeted of himself playing violin is likened to Nero fiddling as Rome burns
“Nero” trended on Twitter early Monday after a meme of President Trump playing the violin drew viral comparisons to the Roman emperor among his critics online.
On Sunday night, Trump promoted the meme, which was initially shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, that depicted him calmly smiling as he played the violin. The meme was captioned: “My next piece is called nothing can stop what’s coming.”
When Trump retweeted the post, he wrote: “Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me!”
Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me! https://t.co/rQVA4ER0PV
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020
In the hours since, droves of his critics have seized on the post, which they have likened to artwork of Nero fiddling as Rome burned.
After your followers google “nero” and “fiddle,” they’re going to demand you fire Dan Scavino for sabotaging you this way.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 8, 2020
I’m not sure “fiddling” metaphors are what you want right now. pic.twitter.com/dJdEfTBLy4
— Santa Claus, CEO (@SantaInc) March 8, 2020
Your idiot social media manager tweeted a pic making fun of you- Nero fiddling while Rome is burning
Yet both of you are too stupid to get it
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) March 8, 2020
A number of his critics particularly called out the president for promoting the meme amid fears over the international outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
It means that Nero fiddled while Rome was burning, but you play golf and post stupid memes while many Americans are at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
It means you are clueless.
It means you’re an idiot.
It means November is coming.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 8, 2020
It means that playing golf while Americans die during an uncontained epidemic makes you look like the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned. The fact that neither you nor your social media director understand this meme and retweeted it makes you even more oblivious than Nero.
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) March 8, 2020
Trump loves huge crowds and huge rallies, and is probably too selfish to care about the health and well-being of his own supporters. That’s how a CPAC attendee was able to meet and greet so many people including CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp who then also shook hands with Trump.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 8, 2020
According to The Washington Post, a few users also noted that the phrase “Nothing can stop what’s coming” is used by “QAnon” conspiracy theorists.
The viral reactions eventually prompted “Nero” to trend on Twitter Monday morning as the Trump administration continues to field pressure from the public and Democrats amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 100,000 across the globe and killed more than 3,000.
But although scientists have yet to discover a vaccine for the virus, data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed that more than 60,000 people had recovered from the virus as of Sunday night.