There are eight victims of the El Paso shooting still being treated in the city’s University Medical Center, and none of them agreed to meet with President Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz when they visited the city on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.
“This is a very sensitive time in their lives. Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors,” UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke told the paper. Two victims of the shooting who were treated at the hospital and discharged did return with their families to meet the president, he also said. All told, the hospital treated 15 victims of the Walmart shooting, two of whom died shortly after arriving.
Of course, the White House is defending Trump’s reception during his visit, which was strongly opposed by some local and national politicians who represent the area. According to the Post:
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president and first lady Melania Trump met with “victims of the tragedy while at the hospital” and were “received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them. It was a moving visit for all involved.”
The White House did not allow independent journalists to observe the Trumps’ hospital visit, but Grisham pointed to a video released by the White House as evidence of the president’s reception at the hospital.
Guess we’ll have to take their word on it!
The cherry on top was that the victims still in the hospital also refused to meet with Cruz, according to the hospital spokesman, but the senator met with members of the emergency department.
And why would they? Even if, for whatever reason, you’re able to indulge in the mental gymnastics required not to see a connection between Trump’s harshly anti-immigrant remarks with the shooter’s own words, the president made the visits to El Paso and Dayton—site of the weekend’s other mass shooting—all about himself. Dan Scavino, Trump’s in house social media guy, tweeted yesterday that the president “was treated like a Rock Star” during the Dayton hospital visit, and Trump himself tried to stir up more petty drama. We’d expect nothing less at this point.