The president shared images from his visit to a Florida hospital where victims are still recovering after a gunman, armed with an AR-15 rifle, slaughtered 14 students and three teachers Wednesday.
A brightly smiling Donald Trump flashed the thumbs up sign during his visit where he spoke with a trauma surgeon and hospital staff, before dodging a question about gun control.
The president told reporters at Broward Health North Hospital that he met with victims: ‘Yes I did, yes I did, I did indeed and it’s very sad that something like this happened,’ before sharing the smiling photo op.
The president refused to answer a reporter who followed up with ‘Mr. President, do gun laws need to be changed?’
Trump and Melania were seen talking to Dr. Igor Nichiporenko, a trauma surgeon at Broward Health North Hospital while in the hospital hallways before addressing the waiting press pool where his dialogue focused mainly on praising first responders.
On Twitter several people hit out at the president’s thumbs up gesture and wide grin while visiting the hospital that handled the trauma victims that flooded the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
They departed the hospital in the motorcade at 7:15pm, according to a pool log by a New York Times reporter.
The president and Melania also spoke to first responders at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The president and Melania pose for a photo with one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim and her family during Friday’s visit to Broward Health North Hospital in photos POTUS shared on Twitter and Instagram
Trauma doctor, Igor Nichiporenko, speaks with the president and Melania on photos Trump shared on his Twitter Friday
Photo op, thumbs up: The president flashed thumbs up in two of the shots he shared on his social media accounts, along with a wide smile in every image where he is facing the camera
Everything peachy: During what would be a somber visit the president smiled widely while flashing the thumbs up sign throughout
Real courage of the first responders, and the teachers, that had to handle the devastating task of saving lives after Florida’s worst school shooting ever- families who lost loved ones will never be the same after the senseless slaughter by a gunman armed with an AR-15 that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day
The First Lady addressed those gathered a the Sheriff’s office: ‘Thank you all for what you do and saving our children, that’s the most important to our future, and let’s take care of them because they will go through a lot from what they experienced two days ago.’
But some of the parents, survivors and others affected by the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were more interested in firm action to prevent future assaults than a presidential visit.
‘I don’t want Trump to come but we want more gun safety,’ said 18-year-old Kevin Trejos, a senior at the school where 17 people were killed and 14 injured. ‘It’s a dream. It hasn’t hit me yet.’
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with Dr. Igor Nichiporenko, trauma surgeon at Broward Health North Hospital after school shooting leaves 17 dead
President Donald Trump speaks with doctor Igor Nichiphorenko (L) and First Lady Melania Trump while visiting first responders at Broward Health North hospital