Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio have both issued statements denying President Trump’s claim this week that doctors left operating rooms to meet him during his trips to visit the survivors of this month’s deadly mass shootings, which left 31 dead and dozens more injured.
“When I went to Dayton and when I went to El Paso and I went into those hospitals, the love for me — and me maybe as a representative of the country, but for me — and my love for them was unparalleled,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Wednesday.
“Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room. The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor,” Trump added.
“You couldn’t even walk on it. So, you know, there’s a lot to happen,” he said.
But both hospitals this week confirmed that doctors did not leave any patients or operating rooms to meet Trump during his visit.
“At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” Ryan Mielke, a spokesperson for University Medical Center of El Paso, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Our priority is always patient care.”
Several survivors of the Aug. 3 shooting at the El Paso Walmart and their families did not want to meet with Trump during his visit just four days after a mass shooting left 22 dead and 25 injured.
Trump did not meet with any of the eight survivors still convalescing at UMC, the El Paso Times reported.
The president did meet with family members of three survivors in the hospital waiting room for nearly two hours after most objected to seeing him, Henry Gallardo, UMC’s chair of the hospital board of managers, said.
Ben Sutherly, a spokesperson for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, also confirmed that no doctors left operating rooms to meet with the president during his visit earlier that same day.
“Our physicians and staff at no time leave an active operating room, procedural area or patient room to greet anyone,” Sutherly said.