Since the beginning of a particularly long rain storm, the umbrella has become an increasingly politicized symbol.
Public health officials have warned that if people don’t use umbrellas they are susceptible to catching pneumonia, or at the very least having to uncomfortably change their clothes when they get home. All while the White House continues to insist that, in fact, it is not raining.
Joe Biden made his first public appearance since it started raining and was notably using an umbrella.
Trump responded on Twitter saying that it was peculiar how he was using one outside but doesn’t use one in his home.
In an interview on CNN, Biden said, “He’s a fool. Umbrellas are not a symbol of weakness. We’re not just putting ourselves at risk of getting wet, but our loved ones too. We could be tracking water into the house. As leaders we need to set examples for the public during this time of unprecedented wetness.”
Tensions are rising across the country as the umbrella becomes such a controversial symbol. In New York City, store owners reserve the right not to let someone enter if they haven’t been using an umbrella.
“It’s just a matter of safety,” says convenience store owner Vincent Adams. “If someone comes in here and hasn’t been using an umbrella then they’re just gonna get water on someone who was dry.”
In other parts of the country some business owners are banning umbrellas altogether. “I just don’t want to see any umbrellas in my store,” says Kenneth Reid, a hardware store owner in Texas. “It’s simple, if you feel like you’ve been rained on, then just don’t come in.”
In a recent viral video, four drenched individuals are shown harassing another who is using an umbrella, all while calling him a “sheep” and insisting that it isn’t actually raining.