Sen. Bernie Sanders said the photo of him from Inauguration Day that became a viral meme and exploded across social media has turned out “to be a good thing, and not only a fun thing.”
The photo from President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday features the Vermont senator sitting cross-legged in a chair and decked out in a coat, mask and mittens — sitting at a social distance from other spectators. The image almost immediately caught the internet’s attention.
The image was not only spread far and wide as a meme, but it eventually led creative people to Photoshop that image of Sanders sitting in the chair onto different backgrounds, placing him in setting such as movie scenes, famous paintings and historical moments.
When asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” on Sunday about the photo and subsequent memes, Sanders said he’s “having fun” with the viral moment. He added that he’s turned the image into sweatshirts and T-shirts, which he’s selling in his campaign store, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward Vermont charities focused on fighting hunger.
“What we’re doing here in Vermont is, we’re going to be selling around the country sweatshirts and T-shirts. And all of the money that’s going to be raised, which I expect will be a couple of million dollars, will be going to programs like Meals on Wheels that feed low-income senior citizens,” Sanders said. “So, it turns out, actually, to be a good thing, and not only a fun thing.”