Melania Trump tweeted Monday morning, breaking a more than 20-day silence — a silence we only know about because the media was relentless in reminding us that Melania Trump has been "missing" for nearly two weeks.
Monday morning, the First Lady posted on social media that she is "feeling great" and that she is recovering well from a recent kidney surgery that landed her in Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital for several days.
I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I'm doing. Rest assured, I'm here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 30, 2018
An aide to the First Lady also told media Monday that Trump has been busy preparing for the White House's 4th of July celebration, one of the national household's largest events of the year. She is expected to attend a Gold Star Family event Monday afternoon.
Melania Trump was last seen in public on May 10 when she helped welcome home several prisoners released from North Korea. On May 14 the White House told reporters that Melania was undergoing kidney surgery, a procedure that went well, but which meant the First Lady had to spend several days recovering in the hospital.
Apparently, the media expected Melania to bounce back from her illness immediately and join the president for major meetings at Camp David and at the G7, something someone just two weeks out of a slightly-more-than-minor health scare might find daunting while recuperating.
Over the weekend, speculation about Melania's whereabouts reached a fever pitch, as celebrities and media figures suggested Melania might have left her husband, that she might be injured or abused, or worse, that she might be dead.
It got . . . well . . . really weird.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed hiking the Appalachian Trail these past 22 days with Melania Trump.— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) June 1, 2018
Melania still hasn’t been seen. 22 days. It seems ominous. Maybe she just drunk-cut her own bangs and doesn’t want to upset her fans. I’ve done that plenty of times!!!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 3, 2018
Melania Trump has not been seen in 21 days now.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) June 1, 2018
I wonder if she is with the 1,475 missing immigrant children that the Trump Administration lost.
And then it got even weirder.
Suppose President Trump punched the First Lady in the White House (federal property = federal jurisdiction), then ordered the Secret Service to conceal the assault. POTUS has Article II authority over Secret Service. Is that obstruction? Under Sekulow/Dowd, apparently NO— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 2, 2018
Mainstream media sources speculated wildly about Melania's fate. The Huffington Post worried that Melania was skipping a trip to Singapore, and NBC News fretted that the First Lady's disappearance could have dramatic consequences on the nation's foreign policy. The Guardian's resident feminist suspected that Melania had left her husband and was living elsewhere. The New York Daily News demanded immediate answers.
Some outlets even breathlessly dissected Melania's Monday tweet, curious whether it was written by some invisible hand rather than the First Lady herself.
Obviously, the issue barely rates. There is no doubt Melania Trump is alive and, likely, just taking her time recovering from an invasive procedure on one of her major internal organs. The White House, at least, is being very attentive to the emotional needs of the national media.