As Melania Trump visited families affected by the opioid crisis at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Tuesday, left-wing protesters showed up, chanting “Shame on you” and “Melania leave Philly!”
Other protesters chanted “Families belong together” in reference to President Trump’s immigration policies, which have become the focal point of protests across the country.
Before departing to Philadelphia, Melania’s plane was forced to return to Joint Base Andrews after a mechanical issue caused smoke to be detected in the aircraft’s cabin.
The First Lady joked about “a little delay” before discussing the administration’s plans to combat the opioid epidemic, and said that “As the caretakers of the next generation, it is our responsibility to protect our most valuable and vulnerable: our children.”
From The Daily Caller:
First lady Melania Trump was greeted by a handful of protesters outside Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where she visited an intensive care unit for newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal Tuesday.
A few protesters held signs with slogans like “Melania Leave Philly!” and “Complicit” and chanted “Shame on you, Melania!” and “Families belong together” outside the hospital, according to a pool report.
Trump also spoke at a hospital conference on newborns exposed to opioids in the womb.
“As the caretakers of the next generation, it is our responsibility to protect our most valuable and vulnerable, our children,” Trump said, according to CNN.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was also at the conference and discussed the “heartbreakingly common” neonatal abstinence syndrome that affects babies born to mothers who are addicted to drugs, reported CNN.
Trump joked about “a little delay” at the beginning of her remarks at the conference after a mechanical issue forced her plane to return to Joint Base Andrews after taking off around 9 a.m. for Philadelphia.
BREAKING: Smoke and burning smell reported on Melania Trump’s flight to Philadelphia after “mechanical issue,” per pool.
Flight returning to Andrews. Press brought wet towels, told to hold them over their faces if smell became too strong.
Smell and smoke have since dissipated.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 17, 2018
The first lady was able to make it to the hospital by 11 a.m. and visit families affected by the opioid crisis.
An estimated 2 percent of babies in the U.S. are born drug-dependent, according to Kaiser Health News. A baby is born with withdrawal symptoms every 15 minutes in the U.S., according to a 2018 Vanderbilt University Research Center study.
Neonatal doctors are working to standardize more effective care for babies suffering from opioid withdrawals.