The chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles said he was greatly hurt by the vulgarity of President Trump’s remarks referring to his home country of Haiti as a “shithole” nation.
“The sadness turned really to anger,” Dr. Henri Ford told KABC-TV.
During an Oval Office meeting on Thursday, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said.
Trump then suggested the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway.
“It’s either because you are fundamentally racist or ignorant, and I don’t know which is worse,” Ford said.
KABC’s David Ono reports:
I first met Ford in 2010 in a soccer field in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Immediately after a massive quake killed hundreds of thousands, Ford had flown in from Los Angeles and was desperately setting up a field hospital. He was heartbroken over what had happened to his country but was determined to save as many people as possible.
“It’s absolutely gut wrenching to see what has happened to this entire community,” he said at the time.
Through the years, I’ve continued to cover his remarkable medical achievements – in Los Angeles and Haiti – never losing sight of the fact that this man came to America from an impoverished background and didn’t even speak English.
Yet through hard work, he was awarded a scholarship to Princeton, then Harvard Medical School.
“Individuals coming from that s***hole named Haiti can make significant contributions to the American society, can help heal the ills of American people,” Ford said.
“I stand here as living proof. My entire family is living proof of the veracity of this creed that, yes the American dream is open to all of us, regardless of our skin complexion,” Ford said.
KABC notes that Ford has a brother who is the chief of internal medicine at Einstein in Philadelphia and another brother who is an anesthesiologist in New York and three sisters who are nurses.
“They are all Haitians who are contributing mightily to make America and the world a better place,” Ono concluded.