When Donald Trump announced that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for COVID-19, the replies were full of well-wishing, as well as admonishments from others for not being careful. Less expected was a whole host of messages full of indecipherable hexes, pictures of demons, and cursed images of all kinds.
“The dead are resurrected day and night without anyone knowing,” reads one tweet written in Punjabi and paired with an image of what appears to be a young female ghost. Others are in Amharic, an Ethiopian language, and say things like “Arise from the ashes of your wickedness and repent before our Lord Lucifer pays your debts”; still others have text atop an image of a ram with three eyes, or a skateboarder wearing plates of pasta as shoes.
The creepy meme format has been popping up over and over, including in the replies to many of Trump’s tweets from the hospital over the weekend and then after he returned to the White House on Monday. Other high-profile Republicans such as Kellyanne Conway who tested positive in recent days have also faced the wrath. The accounts posting do not appear to be bots, which sometimes clog up the coveted real estate of Trump’s Twitter replies. They seem to be real people, sharing copypasta—chunks of text that get copy-and-pasted all over social media, a spammy internet custom. They are not actually hexing the president. They are joking. One account usually dedicated to promoting the singer Doja Cat tweeted a Punjabi phrase at Trump with an image of a demonic Baby Yoda, then clarified that they were doing it because it was funny.