President Donald Trump visited a hospital in El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday evening to meet with victims of a mass shooting and their families to offer his condolences.
Yet none of the eight individuals being treated at the University Medical Center hospital met with Trump personally on Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported. Two victims who had been involved in the shooting did return to meet with the president, but they were no longer patients at the hospital.
Some family members at UMC said that Trump’s presence there was unwanted and inappropriate.
A hospital staff official told CBS Austin that the vist from the president was “important” in the face of a tragedy such as what El Paso saw last weekend. Yet two other families said they didn’t want him there.
The family of a child who was shot in the incident on Saturday were appalled by Trump’s visit.
“The whole family said if he wants to go into the room, no. We don’t want him in the patient’s room,” Leticia Mariscal said, speaking on behalf of a family of a girl who was shot in the leg. She further explained the decision was based in part “because of the way he talked against Mexicans, against Hispanics so we don’t want to talk to a person that are against our Mexicans.”
Another family also refused to speak with Trump. Jorge Calvillo was among those shot and killed in the shooting last weekend. His brother is recovering from wounds in the attack.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 7, 2019
“I wish he wouldn’t have needed to come,” Saul Chavez, a family member, said. “I think he just came to do a circus. He was the one who brewed up all of this hatred against Mexicans I guess he forgot what he said.”
Criticisms of the president haven’t been limited to those who had the chance to meet with him in person. Many online and in person have been critical of Trump’s attempts to reconcile families affected by the shootings in El Paso, as well as a mass shooting that took place the same weekend in Dayton, Ohio.
Some have suggested Trump has used these visits as a way to promote himself rather than legitimately help these communities heal. Before visiting El Paso, Trump stopped at a hospital in Dayton, where his staff told reporters they wouldn’t be allowed in to cover the event because the president didn’t want it to be turned into a photo op, previous reporting from HillReporter.com detailed.
Later that evening, Trump’s Twitter account shared a video of his interactions with hospital staff, patients, and law enforcement, which many users on social media disparaged as being propaganda.