Trumps visits University Medical Center of El Paso


Priscilla Gomez

The El Paso Republican Party welcomes President Donald J. Trump on his visit to El Paso, Texas.

Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

President Trump visited the University Medical Center in El Paso on Wednesday to meet with survivors of the Walmart Shooting and to meet with medical staff amid outrage over the Walmart shooting. According to various reports, Trump met with two previously discharged patients, but none of the current patients met with the president.

“This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” UMC spokesperson Ryan Mielke told The Washington Post. “Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president. Some of them didn’t want any visitors.”

Two hours before the president’s arrival, the area for a couple of blocks was blocked off as supporters and protestors gathered in enclaves around the hospital. There was also as a protest of Trump’s visit held at Washington Park.

Crowds directly in front of the hospital were pushed back to the halfway point beyond Concepcion Street and were a mixture of supporters and protesters. 

Strong words passed between the groups as well as some antagonism, but outside of shouts, it was as peaceful as could be expected. I did observe during an interview that some people with American flags were trying to block some signs they disagreed with, but no significant conflicts broke out probably due to the heavy presence of police in full tactical gear lining the street. 

Speaking with several members of the crowd on both sides about how they felt about the president’s visit, there was a massive divide about the purpose of the tour and what actions should be taken in the wake of the Walmart Shooting. There was some level of agreement about better background checks and restriction of some types of weapons, but far from a unanimous consensus.

“(He was) showing that he was president for all Americans and all legal residents and that he loves everyone in this country,” El Paso resident Rhonda Ramirez said. 

When asked about what changes she would like Trump to push in the wake of the latest shooting,      Ramirez stated she would like more control of who can purchase a gun and more of the fake news media called out for their fake news and spreading hate and lies.

When asked if the President should do a better job of choosing his words with his political rhetoric, Ramirez replied: “He is a human being and makes mistakes like all of us.”

Ramirez, when questioned about Trump’s statement of tying gun control to immigration on a bill, said she believes that is a false statement.

Citing the recent change in the law to buy cigarettes, El Paso resident Jeanine Melendez questioned why someone would purchase a gun with less restriction by age than to purchase cigarettes. 

“I feel like President Trump shouldn’t be here, I feel like his rhetoric helped fuel the shooter’s actions…  the shooter still bears the responsibility for his actions and did use the same language as Trump in his manifesto,” El Paso resident Jeanine Melendez said. “As president, you are supposed to represent all of our country.” 

Melendez recounted Trump’s reaction at a rally in Galveston when someone yelled out “shoot them,” and Trump casually made a joke about it.

“They should ban all assault weapons; what does anybody need an AR 15 or Ak 47 for?” she said. 

Priscilla Gomez
Citizens showed up to El Paso Strong event on Wednesday August 7th at Washington Park.