Despite protestors expressing their distaste of her husband’s immigration policies, U.S. first lady Melania Trump continued to shine a light on combating opioid abuse with her “Be Best” initiative.
The first lady traveled to Boston Medical Center in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, joined by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar.
There, she learned about a cuddle program at the hospital to help newborns who are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) — born with withdrawal from drugs. The first lady also met with families and children who are in the hospital’s recovery program.
“As you may know, this is an issue I am very focused on. I hope today’s visit helps shine a light on programs like yours,” Trump said, adding, “It is so important to acknowledge and show gratitude for what you are doing to help.”
The HHS secretary also said during the visit, “Neonatal abstinence syndrome is one of the most heartbreaking parts of the opioid crisis.”
Today @SecAzar and I met with the doctors, nurses & leadership who are behind the innovative programs at @The_BMC. Their dedication and compassion for helping families and babies w/ NAS is an inspiration to us all! #BeBest pic.twitter.com/j3vyoddqVX— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 6, 2019
▶️First lady Melania Trump visited a hospital in Massachusetts, Wednesday, November 6, to learn more about a program developed to help babies born dependent on drugs or alcohol.— The Voice of America (@VOANews) November 7, 2019
?Melania Trump Visits Cuddle Program for Babies Born Dependent on Drugs
In the city’s South End, however, up to 200 medical professionals offered a not-to-warm-welcome to the first lady, as they protested the administration’s immigration policies regarding health care, as Fox News reported.
A nurse-midwife said, “This is not a person that we want to come to our home, our hospital.”
Some signs read, “We really do care…do you” and “Children in cages can’t be cuddled,” according to Boston 25 News journalist Scott McDonnell.
Check out the protests below:
Melania Trump is visiting Boston Medical Center.— Joshua Potash ? (@JoshuaPotash) November 6, 2019
And the medical professionals there are out in protest.
Signs read:— Scott McDonnell (@ScottMcDonnell_) November 6, 2019
“Reduce health care disparities”
“Children in cages can’t be cuddled”
“We really do care…do you”
Heath professionals gather outside as First Lady Melania Trump visits babies inside Boston Medical Center.@boston25 pic.twitter.com/n7pVbiX0B7
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in response to the first lady’s visit that 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.”
A pillar of the first lady’s “Be Best” initiative focuses on opioid abuse, which includes “[bringing] attention to neonatal abstinence syndrome.”
Trump has visited hospitals to meet with families of newborns with NAS. She also helped spread the message of the importance of spreading drug awareness at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Red Ribbon Rally last month.