The October 7 vice presidential debate was supposed to be between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence, but a third guest appeared onstage halfway through the event: the large housefly that made itself at home on Pence’s head. It was an unmistakable presence in the Vice President’s white hair, especially to viewers at home. Pence didn’t know that the little guy was there, and if Senator Harris did, she didn’t say anything.
Viewers at home immediately flocked to Twitter like a fly flocking to a conservative politician’s hair to sound off about the bizarre moment. Gabrielle Union immediately dubbed the brazen insect an “American hero,” and Zack Braff dryly quipped, “that fly just drank homophobic robot blood.” Star Trek icon and political activist George Takei didn’t hold back when he tweeted that “flies are attracted to s**t.” And Sarah Jessica Parker posted on Instagram, Is that a fly???? On his head. I think that is a fly. Not sure if anyone else is watching. Or caught that. Hmmm…”
Of course, someone already created a @MichaelsFly Twitter account within minutes of the incident. “Thank you everyone for the thoughts and prayers,” the anonymous Twitter hero wrote. “I will be getting covid tested tomorrow, fingers crossed!” @MikePenceFly_ also immediately took off on Twitter. Truly, nobody took even a pause before dunking on the Vice President. Some Twitter users pointed out that flies aren’t exactly good news when it comes to the Bible — ironic, considering that Pence is devoutly Christian.
Beelzebub (another name for Satan) is dubbed the “Lord of the Flies” in the Old Testament. A swarm of flies is one of the plagues God unleashes on Egypt through Moses in chapters 7 through 11 of the book of Exodus when the pharaoh won’t free the Hebrew people. So… not exactly the greatest PR moment for a man in charge of a disastrous pandemic response that has left 200,000 Americans dead.
Harris’ running mate, former Vice President Joe Biden, took the opportunity to mock Pence during the vice presidential debate, tweeting out a photo of the candidate wielding a fly swatter. “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly,” his social media team wrote, including a link to his donation site. Smooth.
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