- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 7, 2019

First lady Melania Trump’s visit to sick and recovering children at a Boston hospital on Wednesday was met with dozens of hospital workers protesting the event.

Mrs. Trump visited Boston Medical Center to shine a light on their pioneering cuddling program, which uses cuddling and skin-to-skin contact to help babies who are born addicted to drugs or alcohol. The first lady spoke with doctors in front of the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and met with children and families enrolled in the program, The Associated Press reported.

As many as 200 protesters stood outside and chanted and held signs that read, “We Care for All!” and “Exceptional Care, No Exceptions!” as the first lady arrived at the hospital, CNN reported. The protesters, many of whom were hospital workers, primarily took issue with President Trump’s policies on illegal immigration and health care.

“This is not a person that we want to come to our home, our hospital,” Cecilia Girard, a 26-year employee who works as a nurse midwife, told the AP.

“I’m protesting because our babies, our vulnerable babies, shouldn’t be used as political props,” added Monica Joyce, who has worked as a nurse midwife at the hospital for five years.



Boston Medical Center President and CEO Kate Walsh said organizers of the protest had initially requested that she rescind Mrs. Trump’s invitation, but she defended her decision to keep the commitment in an email to the hospital’s 6,000 employees.

“Two-thirds of our patients have some form of government insurance, and our health plan is the largest participant in the state’s Medicaid accountable care organization, so the opportunity to highlight the innovative work we are doing is critical to ensuring that we are able to continue to deliver on our mission well into the future,” she wrote in the email, CNN reported.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, “Mrs. Trump enjoyed visiting Boston Medical Center to meet with the center’s leadership and medical staff and learn about the impressive programs available that support and provide care to mothers struggling with drug addiction and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.”

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