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As the coronavirus continues to be a major worry among Americans, people are continuing to seek information on how to stay protected or at least, how to take precautions so that the risks of contracting the virus are lowered.

One practice the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggested in a list of graphics was to stop shaking hands. “Use other non-contact methods of greeting,” explains the CDC. If you have to make contact with someone, health officials, such as the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, have been urging citizens to “fist-bump instead of shaking hands,” according to Noozhawk.

The suggestion of a fist bump during a health scare is ironic considering former president Barack Obama was once associated with a “terrorist” for his fist bumps.

According to HuffPost, on a June 6, 2008 episode of Fox News’ “America’s Pulse”, host E.D. Hill questioned whether a fist bump Obama shared with his wife Michelle Obama was a “terrorist fist jab.”


In a teaser for an upcoming discussion with a “body language expert,” Hill alluded to the Obamas’ loving gesture by asking, “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist first jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.” Then in the proceeding conversation with Janine Driver, whom Hill described as the “body language expert,” Hill said that the “Michelle and Barack Obama first bump or fist pound” was being called “all sorts of things” by people. She asked Driver, “Is that sort of a signal that young people get?” At no point during their conversation did Hill explain her prior reference to terrorism.

Hill received a ton of backlash for her “terrorist fist jab” comment, including calls for her to be fired. Eventually she gave a so-called apology, but the comment is still an example of the racist and xenophobic rhetoric aimed at Obama during his presidency.

Today, in the midst of the coronavirus, surely Hill wouldn’t be opposed to a “terrorist fist jab” now.

However, some people in politics are still completely fine with handshakes, including the current man in the White House, according to The Hill.

Despite recommendations to avoid handshakes, Vice President Mike Pence said that he and Donald Trump will continue shaking hands. In a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, he said, “As the president has said, in our line of work you shake hands when someone wants to shake your hand, and I expect the president will continue to do that. I’ll continue to do it. What this is is a broad recommendation for Americans. But a really good recommendation is to wash your hands often.”

Pence’s statements come after Trump has already shaken hands with multiple officials who have since gone into self-imposed quarantine after being in contact with an individual with the coronavirus. Although Pence and Trump haven’t mentioned having any symptoms, for the sake of their peers, they might want to avoid the handshakes….or at least, get on the Barack and Michelle Obama fist bump bandwagon.


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