Melania Trump's Wednesday visit to Boston, Mass. has been met with protest by city-dwellers.
According to the Boston Globe, 250 Boston Medical Center employees protested the first lady's scheduled visit to the hospital, over concerns that it would discourage vulnerable populations, like immigrants, from seeking medical care. Though the first lady's solo events don't usually garner protest, employees were worried the photo ops from her visit would align the Center with the Trump administration's views.
Cecilia T. Girard, a nurse midwife who is an immigrant from Ecuador, told the Globe, "If [patients] thought that my affiliation was with somebody who promotes such division and promotes the hatred of immigrants, I’m sure that they’re not going to be asking to come to see me to take care of them."
Medical professionals standing in solidarity at Boston Medical center in protest of First Lady Melania Trumps visit.— Scott McDonnell (@ScottMcDonnell_) November 6, 2019
First lady visiting cuddle program at Boston hospital for babies born on drugs.@boston25 pic.twitter.com/DPDaFxnI5j
The first lady and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited the Center's program dedicated to treating babies who are born with opioid dependency, as part of her Be Best initiative, which aims to address the health and wellness of children.
"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," Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, said in a statement to CNN.
CNN reports that the first lady did not address the protests during her opening remarks to staff.
"I hope today's visit helps shine a light," she said. "It is my hope that what we discuss today will encourage others to replicate similar programs within their own communities."