WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday took in the solar eclipse from the White House balcony, first looking up at the phenomenon without the necessary glasses to protect his eyes.
Trump, along with first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron, took in the sight from the Truman balcony, which overlooks the South Lawn. While the three had solar eclipse glasses, which protect your eyes as you stare directly at the sun, Trump initially looked up without eye protection.
According to the White House pool report, an aide shouted “don’t look” at the president as he gestured toward the sun. Moments later, as the peak of the eclipse approached, Trump put on glasses.
Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage, the symptoms of which can take a few days to show up. Those include “dim” sight, loss of central vision, distorted vision, altered color vision and afterimages.
Washington, D.C., experienced an approximately 80 percent eclipse and did not go completely dark. Monday’s was the first total solar eclipse to pass over the majority of the continental U.S. since 1918. The next solar eclipse over the continent will be in 2024.