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As First Lady Visits Boston Medical Center, Some Protest Outside The Hospital

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Protesters held signs outside Boston Medical Center during first lady Melania Trump's visit on Wednesday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
Protesters held signs outside Boston Medical Center during first lady Melania Trump's visit on Wednesday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
This article is more than 3 years old.

More than 100 people — mostly Boston Medical Center employees — gathered outside the hospital to express their support for patients and criticize a visit from first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday.

Many of the demonstrators told WBUR that a visit from the Trump administration runs counter to the hospital's mission. The hospital serves a large population of nonwhite and immigrant patients.

Several BMC workers who participated said they want all patients — especially those from marginalized communities who may have been affected by federal policies — to feel safe at BMC. Many worried that the first lady's visit may send the wrong message to some people seeking treatment.

Eduardo Garza, a resident at BMC, said he understands it is not easy to refuse a visit from the first lady.

"We are not protesting her being here," he said. "We're more trying to give a message to our patients, to say, 'Hey, we see you. ... We understand the issues you're going through, and we stand with you.' "

First lady Melania Trump, left, speak with pediatrician Eileen Costello, front right, as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, behind center, looks on during a visit to Boston Medical Center in Boston on Nov. 6. (Steven Senne, Pool)
First lady Melania Trump, left, speaks with pediatrician Eileen Costello, front right, as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, behind center, looks on during a visit to Boston Medical Center in Boston on Nov. 6. (Steven Senne/AP, Pool)

The first lady came to BMC — the city's largest safety net health care provider — as part of her "BE BEST" initiative aimed at promoting children's well-being.

This segment aired on November 6, 2019.

Shannon Dooling Twitter Investigative Reporter
Shannon Dooling was an investigative reporter at WBUR, focused on stories about immigration and criminal justice.

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Angus Chen Twitter Reporter, CommonHealth
Angus Chen was a reporter for WBUR's CommonHealth.

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