At a 5 October 2016 campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made remarks about sick and terminally ill voters with respect to the overall importance of getting out to vote.
Trump's comments largely came to widespread notice via the publication of a brief BBC item with the suggestive title "Trump Courts the Terminally Ill Vote":
SNL couldn't make this shit up. OMG. BBC News - Trump courts the terminally ill vote https://t.co/GvrFT7tVac
— Melanie Louette (@melanielouette) October 7, 2016
In the absence of context, many social media users imagined that the quoted remarks were delivered in all seriousness:
I don’t care how sick you are. I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over. You won’t be around in two weeks. Doesn’t matter. Hang out 'til November 8th. Get out and vote, and then, all we’re gonna say is, ‘We love you and we will remember you always.’ Get out and vote.
Newsweek described the Trump's comments as one of "a series of controversial statements on the campaign trail," and a British news outlet reported that Trump had implored "terminally ill people to stay alive long enough to vote for him in the US presidential election next month."
The remarks were widely interpreted as narcissistic and cynical by social media users:
If there is a frontier over which this man's galloping narcissism will not cross, he has yet to acknowledge such: https://t.co/ilsYoTaokB
— David Simon (@AoDespair) October 6, 2016
However, even the truncated video reproduced above suggests that Trump wasn't seriously entreating the very ill or dying to "hang on" until Election Day in order to vote for him. Rather, his comments were seemingly part of a broader exhortation for voters to be sure make it to the polling place on Election Day, and the GOP candidate irreverently urged that voting is of such importance that everyone — even those who may not be around to witness the results — should make the effort to do so.