El Paso Shooting Victims Didn’t Want to Meet Trump During His Hospital Visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE)

 

“Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors,” a hospital spokesman told the Washington Post

By Rachel DeSantis

August 08, 2019 02:49 PM
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President Donald Trump (center) during his visit to El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday following a mass shooting there last weekend
SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY

President Donald Trump was not exactly welcomed with open arms this week in El Paso, Texas, where his attempts to meet with injured victims of the mass shooting that killed 22 people were turned down, according to multiple news reports.

The exact number of recovering victims who declined to meet with the president is unclear. A spokesman for the city’s University Medical Center said that the eight victims there on Wednesday — five in critical condition and three in serious — all did not meet with Trump.

“This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” UMC’s 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.”

Mielke noted, however, that two victims who had already been discharged returned to the hospital with their families in order to meet with Trump. (Neither the White House nor Mielke immediately responded to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.)

Local TV station KDBC reported that two victims’ families didn’t want to see Trump, including relatives of slain Jorge Calvillo Garcia, whose injured brother was also hospitalized at UMC.

“I wish he [Trump] wouldn’t have needed to come. I think he just came to do a circus,” Saul Chavez told KDBC. “He was the one who brewed up all of this hatred against Mexicans. I guess he forgot what he said.”

Relatives of a father and daughter who were injured, with the father still in the hospital, told KDBC they didn’t want him there either.

“The whole family said if he wants to go into the room, no. We don’t want him in the patient’s room. And we respect all of our families opinion,” relative Leticia Mariscal said. “Because of the way he talked against Mexicans, against Hispanics so we don’t want to a person that are against our Mexicans.”

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The backlash to Trump’s visit followed earlier criticism that his history of inflammatory and sometimes racist rhetoric — including warning of an “invasion” of immigrants — at the least echoes if not emboldens violent white supremacists.

The suspected gunman in the El Paso shooting, a 21-year-old man, is believed to have written a hate-filled manifesto with white nationalist themes.

Meanwhile, UMC said in a news release that Trump met with hospital staff, families and victims during his visit. Journalists at the hospital were forbidden from observing though.

“Our entire UMC team performed exceedingly well on Aug. 3 [in the shooting aftermath], along with our partner physicians from Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and the entire team at El Paso Children’s Hospital,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC’s president and CEO. “This was an opportunity for us to showcase our expertise and facility, a place that our entire region can look to for the highest level of care.”

White House Press Sectary Stephanie Grisham said the president met “victims of the tragedy while at the hospital,” where he and First Lady Melania Trump were “received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff,” according to the Post.

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President Donald Trump
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Women kneel at a vigil in El Paso following the mass shooting there.
LARRY W SMITH/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK

Trump spoke glowingly on Twitter about his trip, which he made the same day he visited Dayton, Ohio, the site of another mass shooting some 13 hours after the El Paso attack.

“Leaving El Paso for the White House. What GREAT people I met there and in Dayton, Ohio. The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work. The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see. They have been through so much. Sad!” he wrote.

He later shared a video that featured footage of him and Mrs. Trump walking the halls of hospitals in El Paso and Dayton, waving to staffers and posing for smiling pictures as dramatic, action movie-style music played in the background.

His decision to schedule a visit to El Paso as it continued to reel from the tragic events of the weekend was met with opposition from Texas Democrats.

Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso native and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted that he did not want the president to come to the city.

“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division,” O’Rourke wrote. “We need to heal. He has no place here.”

In response, Trump said the former congressman “should respect the victims & law enforcement — & be quiet!”

Rep. Veronica Escobar, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter this week that she’d been invited by the White House to join Trump on his El Paso visit but instead requested a phone call in which she could pass along messages from her constituents, including victims.

But Escobar said that the White House told her Trump was “too busy” to talk, so she turned down their invitation so as not to be “an accessory to his visit.”

“My message would’ve been that he needs to understand that his words are powerful and have consequences. Using racist language to describe Mexicans, immigrants and other minorities dehumanize us,” she wrote on Twitter. “Those words inflame others.”

She wrote that she “refuse[d] to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country.”

Trump slams El Paso native O’Rourke ahead of visit to grieving city

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Trump slams El Paso native O’Rourke ahead of visit to grieving city

O’Rourke hit back at Trump, tweeting that “22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism.”

Going anywhere unarmed is dangerous, ignorant and uncaring

Going anywhere unarmed is dangerous, ignorant and uncaring

 

I am a person who is a firm believer in the second amendment of our Constitution. I am also a big believer in gun safety issues. I also believe that all people who choose to have a gun should be required to go through gun safety classes before they can carry it outside of their home. The politicians on the liberal side of the Democratic Party seem to want to take everyone’s firearms away making everyone except themselves (they always have armed body guards around themselves) open an easy targets for a demented criminal. The government is never going to be able to get the guns away from all the bad folks in this country as most of them are bought outside of our Nations laws. I am writing this a couple of days after the two demented ass hats shot up a bunch of unarmed people in El Paso and Dayton plus only about 10 days after the shooting at a festival in California.  All of these cowardly attacks on innocent people are disgusting and pure evil. Personally I don’t go anywhere without a firearm on me because contrary to many peoples beliefs of (I never thought it could happen here) such evil can happen anywhere at any time. I just came back from getting groceries at my local Wal-Mart and the whole time I had a firearm on me, if someone had come into the store and started shooting at people I would have done my best to end them ASAP before they could add to their body count. Waiting on someone with a gun (Police) to get there could easily cost several dozen lives. People like myself are not a threat to anyone, we are simply free security for the stores, markets or churches we are at. Guns are not what kill people it is only the sick demented horses asses who choose to shoot unarmed people. Think about the coward who shot those people in El Paso, when the guns showed up, he surrendered. People need to have guns on them when they go out in public, if you don’t have the training, make it a priority to get the training. Learn how to protect yourself, your family and the other innocent people who are around you. Wise up America, if you are disarmed you might as well put a neon target on your chest because these issues are not going to stop until we the people put an end to these cowards. Being a coward yourself, only gets you and your loved ones dead before your/their time.

Israel: liberal US Jews say Trump fueling white nationalism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

After El Paso massacre, liberal US Jews say Trump fueling white nationalism

Reform leader accuses president of emboldening mass shooters by ‘demonizing asylum seekers and immigrants’

From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting August  3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

WASHINGTON — Liberal American Jewish leaders, fuming at another mass shooting allegedly carried out by a white supremacist, took US President Donald Trump to task on Sunday, saying he had fueled xenophobia and division in the country for three years, while failing to press for stricter gun laws.

Their condemnations came after a 21-year-old gunman, armed with a powerful rifle, walked into a crowded Walmart on Saturday in El Paso, Texas — a majority Hispanic city on the border with Mexico — and opened fire. Authorities identified the assailant as Patrick Crusius from Dallas, who stalked shoppers in the aisles of the retail giant as he riddled them with bullets, leaving at least 20 people dead and another 26 wounded.

Crusius is suspected of being the author of a manifesto posted online before the attack, in which he said was responding to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in a statement that the shooter was reciting language frequently used by Trump — a sign that his influence was evident in the motivation for the attack.

“The El Paso killer was a white supremacist who wrote a ‘send them back’ manifesto, echoing the words of President Trump,” Soifer said. “Trump is responsible for fueling a fire of xenophobia and hatred in our country, and Republicans are responsible for allowing it to occur.”

Pallbearers carry the casket of Poway synagogue shooting victim Lori Gilbert-Kaye during a graveside service on April 29, 2019, in San Diego, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

Over the past year, two other mass shootings by white supremacists were preceded by similar manifestos — one written by John Earnest before the Poway synagogue shooting in April, and one authored by Brenton Tarrant before he opened fire on two mosques in New Zealand in March, killing 50 people.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, noted that the release of a manifesto before Saturday’s attack fit the same pattern.

“We have documented a rise in extremist activity, both online and in our communities,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “As with too many of these incidents, our experts have again been reviewing the apparent manifesto of an alleged shooter, as well as other elements of his online footprint, to evaluate potential extremist ties.”

Greenblatt went on to say that, if police confirm the manifesto’s authenticity, it will make the El Paso attack one of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in modern American history.

“If the suspect is the author of the manifesto, this latest act of domestic terrorism will be, according to the ADL’s Center on Extremism’s records, the third deadliest act of violence by a domestic extremist in over 50 years, and the second deadliest act of violence by a right-wing extremist in the same span, second only to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,” he added.

US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on August 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump has been frequently criticized for his tacit welcoming of support from white nationalists. During the 2016 campaign, he refused to immediately reject the support of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

As president, he likewise refused to immediately condemn neo-Nazis and Klan members who marched in Charlottesville in August 2017, saying that “very fine people” were marching alongside them.

Most recently, he told four freshmen congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from. All four are American citizens, and three of them were born in the United States.

He has also implemented immigration policies that have been broadly condemned as inhumane — including the family separation policy of splitting up parents from their children at the border — to deter immigrants and asylum seekers from entering the country.

After the El Paso attack, Rick Jacobs, who heads the Union for Reform Judaism, lamented the inaction of politicians to effectuate stronger gun-safety measures.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, addressing delegates at its 2017 Biennial in Boston, December 7, 2017. (Courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism/via JTA)

“It is not enough for elected officials to muster their ‘thoughts and prayers,’” he said in a statement Saturday. “Like millions of Americans I’m sick of the pathetic excuses offered by too many lawmakers for not passing strong and effective common sense gun laws.”

He then directed his indignation toward Trump. “And if we are to call on the leaders of our nation to address this epidemic of hate, a goal that, hopefully, almost all Americans cherish, we must ask: When will this president stop demonizing asylum seekers and immigrants, which serves to embolden those like today’s shooter?”

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Mexico vows to take legal action against U.S. after deadly El Paso shooting

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Mexico vows to take legal action against U.S. after deadly El Paso shooting

At least three of the 20 dead in Saturday’s attack, described by Mexico’s foreign minister as an “act of barbarism,” are Mexican nationals.
Image: Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard attends a press conference in Mexico City on July 22, 2019.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard attends a press conference in Mexico City on July 22, 2019.Daniel Aguilar / AFP – Getty Images file

Mass Shooting In El Paso Texas Multiple People Have Been Killed Many Wounded

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Multiple people have been killed in a shooting in El Paso, Texas, police say

Police earlier said they received reports of multiple shooters and were “conducting (a) search of a very large area.”
Agents from the FBI office in El Paso are responding to the incident, the office told CNN.
A second mall about 2.5 miles away from Cielo Vista is also on lock-down, according to an employee at a liquor store attached to the mall.
Authorities put the mall on lock-down because of the reported shooting at Cielo Vista, Frankie Nunez, an employee at Bassett WB Liquors & Wine, said.
And employee at the Target store at Bassett Place also confirmed the mall had been placed on lock-down.

‘You don’t think it could happen here’

At least three businesses are on lock-down in the area, about three miles south of El Paso International Airport.
Three Walmart employees took refuge at a nearby Landry’s Seafood house, restaurant manager Oscar Collazo told CNN. The women appeared “shook up” but not injured.
Landry’s had already gone on lock-down, he said, but opened its doors when the employees ran there.
“We never thought it would be so close to us this time,” Collazo said. “You see on the news all the time, but you don’t think it could happen here until it does.”
The nearby Hooters and Red Lobster are also on lock-down. Employees at those restaurants told CNN they are safe and see a lot of police, helicopters and people running around outside.

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In a shaky Snapchat video aired by CNN, a woman holding the camera frantically runs with a small group of girls or women through a Cielo Vista mall department store and into a parking lot.
As the group hurries past racks of clothes and cases of merchandise, voices off camera shout, “Hands up!”
Once in the parking lot, one member of the group asks, “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” the woman holding the camera responds. “I don’t know.”
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who once represented the area in Congress, asked residents to follow the directions of first responders.
“Truly heartbreaking,” O’Rourke said on Twitter. “Stay safe, El Paso.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that the state Department of Public Safety is assisting local law enforcement.
The scene is unfolding in the same week two employees were fatally shot at a Walmart store in Southaven, Mississippi, and three people were shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

Texas Border Patrol Agent Killed, His Partner In Hospital In Serious Condition

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Border agent dies after being injured in Texas

Border Patrol spokesmen said they could not provide any details Sunday on what caused the agent’s injuries or what led to them. Spokesman Carlos Diaz says the FBI has taken over the investigation.

Another spokesman, Douglas Mosier, says that 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a local hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez’s partner is in serious condition. His name wasn’t released. Martinez had been a border agent since August 2013 and was from El Paso.

Border Patrol records show that Big Bend accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region’s mountains and the Rio Grande make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents who have died since late 2003, some attacked while working along the border, and other fatalities in traffic accidents. It lists one other agent death in the line of duty this year.

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