Some victims of the El Paso shooting declined to visit with Donald Trump when he visited the hospital where they were recovering, Yahoo News reports.
On Wednesday, Trump traveled to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, two sites of mass shootings that occurred this past weekend within hours of each other. In El Paso, he made a stop at University Medical Center (UMC), where some of the victims were receiving care. There, he met with two of the victims who had already been discharged. However, the eight victims who were still hospitalized there all declined to meet with Trump, according to UMC spokesperson Ryan Mielke.
Leticia Mariscal, whose father was injured in the shooting and remains in critical condition, said her whole family declined to meet with the president. She said, via Austin’s KEYE-TV, her decision was made solely because of his statements against Mexicans.
“The whole family said if he wants to go into the room, no. We don’t want him in the patient’s room. And we respect all of our family’s opinion, Because of the way he talked against Mexicans, against Hispanics so we don’t want to talk to a person that are [sic] against our Mexicans.”
Similarly, the family of Jorge Calvillo, who died in the shooting and whose brother is still being treated in the hospital, also said Trump wasn’t welcome in his hospital room.
“I think he just came to do a circus. He was the one who brewed up all of this hatred against Mexicans I guess he forgot what he said,” said a family spokesperson.
The entire team working tirelessly at University Medical Center and Del Sol Medical Center have performed miracles over the past few days. They are El Paso—the strength, the love, the care, the willingness to do everything possible to help their neighbors. I am forever grateful. pic.twitter.com/eBwhSP2VwH
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 7, 2019
Mielke was less direct about the patients’ reasons for refusing to meet with Trump, saying simply that “this is a very sensitive time in their lives,” and noting that some didn’t want any visitors at all, no matter who that person was.
However, according to The Washington Post, some of the victims did meet with visitors who were not the president. Local El Paso officials, as well as Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat, met with those who were recovering earlier in the week.
Trump wasn’t just unwelcome at El Paso’s University Medical Center either. As his motorcade made its way through the city to the hospital, several protesters booed and jeered, even as a smaller number of his supporters cheered.
2020 Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, also did not hold back his disdain for the current president. O’Rourke, in response to the shooting, said Trump “helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible” and “has no place here.”