Melania Trump paid a surprise visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, visiting with wounded veterans before Independence Day, Bethesda Magazine is reporting.
The trip was completely unannounced and only came to the attention of the press at all because the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted about it.
“@FLOTUS has just arrived to @WRBethesda for an unannounced visit to combat injured service members & their families. This administration will never stop supporting our men & women in uniform & the families who love them. Thank you!!!”
Because the trip was unannounced, the press was not there, and it’s unclear what Mrs. Trump said or did while there.
Mrs. Trump is, of course, quite familiar with Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She herself spent some period of time there earlier this year, although how much time she was there, and why, remains a matter of dispute. As the Inquisitr reported at the time, she officially went in for a minor kidney procedure, according to the White House – a procedure that’s usually done outpatient. She was there for at least four days, after which she all but disappeared from the public eye for several weeks.
The hospital was itself the subject of controversy a decade ago when the Washington Post revealed cases of patient neglect and terrible conditions. Further, once the story broke, employees – both civilian and military – as well as patients, were all pressured to keep quiet, according to Navy Times.
The unannounced visit to the hospital comes the day before the president and Mrs. Trump are to host an Independence Day picnic on the White House’s South Lawn. According to the Washington Examiner, the White House is teaming up with the Hallmark Channel, which will broadcast the festivities, to which the president will welcome military families.
Among the scheduled entertainment acts are country star Sara Evans, pianist Lola Astanova, and former “American Idol” finalists Jonny Brenns and Jax. Joining them will be the U.S. Marine Band, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, and the U.S. Air Force Band’s Max Impact. The day will conclude with the traditional 4th of July fireworks.
“I’m delighted to welcome this new addition to the annual White House July 4th celebration. Americans will be able to tune in from their homes and be part of the festivities. Thank you to the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the event sponsors for helping make this possible.”
The White House Independence Day festivities will be broadcast on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on the Hallmark Channel.