The Trumps visited victims of the El Paso shooting - but looked eerily joyous while doing so. The First Couple has thus been criticized for their "lack of empathy."
Following one of the deadliest mass shootings to occur in the United States this year, First Couple Donald and Melania Trump made a visit to the victims of the El Paso terror attack that left 22 people dead on Saturday, August 3. During the Trumps’ hospital visit, they were photographed with numerous citizens injured during the mass shooting. While the visit should have been a somber affair, the photographs appear to tell a different story. The Trumps have been photographed in a manner that makes the visit seem like a celebrity “meet and greet,” which the internet has deemed disrespectful and unacceptable. Most notably, a photo featuring the President grinning and flashing a “thumbs up” sign as the First Lady, also smiling ear to ear, holds an orphaned baby whose parents were viciously gunned down in the El Paso attack has sent the internet into a frenzy. The Trump family is yet to respond, Indepedent.co.uk reports.
The visit took place at the University Medical Centre of El Paso. The two-month-old baby, named Paul, lost both his adoptive parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, during the mass shooting. Unfortunately, he too was injured, suffering broken bones after his mother fell on him in order to protect the infant from any bullets that were fired in their direction. When President Trump was handed the baby, he seemed to “lack empathy,” according to doctors present during the visit.
Trump’s apathy is clearly visible in the photographs posted to First Lady Melania’s Twitter account following the visit. Needless to say, many individuals on the social media platform voiced their gripes with the image and the Trumps’ overall response to the consecutive mass shootings that took place over that weekend. Many believe the President’s lack of empathy is only a symptom of his administration and the Republican Party’s political inaction with regard to gun control.
It was only later revealed that little Paul was brought back to the hospital in order to complete the First Couple's so-called "photo op," which, again, many Twitter users found problematic. Cp010za asked: When you held that just-tragically-orphaned baby, did you have a twinge of guilt in using him as a prop? Did you think about how his mother cradled him with her body to protect him from a white supremacists’ gunfire [and] about how he’ll never be able to be cradled by her again? JohnRJohnson pointed out: This is a called a "political photo op" and campaign ad. It is a despicable exploitation of the situation in those two cities for purely political reasons. Am_wex noted: I can’t look at this. I am just stunned and horrified. How did this happen? Who thought releasing a photo of these monsters holding a newly-orphaned infant, whose parents were killed thanks to their racist vitriol, with a grin and thumbs up was somehow acceptable? They are heartless.
This is, of course, not the first time the Trumps have been accused of political apathy. Many tweets were posted in reference to the First Lady's decision to wear a jacket that read, "I really don't care, do you?" during a visit to a migrant child detention center in October 2018. However, individuals chose to focus on the fact that the President's racist and bigoted rhetoric played, without any doubt, a massive role in the El Paso gunman's motive to plan and carry out the now infamous mass shooting. As victims of the terror attack attempt to heal and move on from the incident, the Trump administration's passivity on common-sense gun control is not only disrespectful, but it is also irresponsible - the blood of those dead in the El Paso shootings has left an unmistakeable stain on his hands.