'Pathetic': Medical Staff Protest Melania Trump For Visiting Hospital Cuddling Program to Help Babies Born on Drugs

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Posted: Nov 07, 2019 7:30 AM
'Pathetic': Medical Staff Protest Melania Trump For Visiting Hospital Cuddling Program to Help Babies Born on Drugs

Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Hundreds of hospital worker protested first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday for visiting those carrying out a program at Boston Medical Center that uses cuddling to help babies who are born with a dependency on drugs or alcohol.     

Outside Boston Medical Center in the city's South End, as many as 200 workers protested the visit, saying the first lady represented an administration who they say has discouraged immigrants from seeking health care with tough immigration policies. Some carried signs that read "BMC cares for all patients" and "We believe that healthy women = healthy families = healthy society."

"Families need to be together, that the best way to support children's development is for them to be with their families," Carmen Rosa Norona, a psychotherapist working with young children affected by trauma, told The Associated Press. "That being the children, having the possibility to grow up with their families, is a human right in that the policies of separating families are a violation of those rights."

"This is not a person that we want to come to our home, our hospital," added Cecilia Girard, a 26-year employee who works as a nurse-midwife. (FoxNews.com)

Boston Medical Center's president and CEO Kate Walsh knew ahead of time about the planned protest and refused to grant their request to cancel the first lady’s visit. 

"[T]he visit will be a unique opportunity to share our values of respect and inclusion with federal leaders whose policies have a significant impact on the vulnerable populations we are dedicated to serving,” she told the hospital’s employees in an email, according to The Boston Globe. 

"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.”

Trump, for her part, ignored the protests in her comments 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."

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who accompanied Trump, said "neonatal abstinence syndrome is one of the most heartbreaking parts of the opioid crisis.”

Social media users slammed the protesters for not being able to put patients before politics.