Followers of the ludicrous pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, for example, suggested that Trump’s coronavirus was, perversely, good news. QAnon fans are convinced that Trump is secretly at war with a cabal of cannibal-pedophiles in the Democratic Party, and will conduct a bloody purge of his political foes in a long-awaited event called “The Storm.”

Trump’s hospitalization, QAnon believers suspected, was really a cover for mass arrest and executions they have long hoped for. One popular QAnon account quoted a three-year-old QAnon “clue” that read “POTUS must isolate himself to prevent negative optics,” insisting that QAnon had predicted Trump’s self-isolation ahead of the arrests.

Others fixated on hydroxychloroquine, the drug whose supposed efficacy against the virus Trump initially promoted. One popular QAnon account combed through Trump’s tweet about Hicks’s coronavirus diagnosis and circled the letters “HCQ” in various words, claiming that Trump had been trying to send out a message about hydroxychloroquine.