WYSO

Protesters Rally Outside President Trump's Visit To Miami Valley Hospital

Aug 7, 2019

President Donald Trump’s visit to Dayton Wednesday sparked protests across the city. After landing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the president and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Miami Valley Hospital, where they met with survivors of last weekend’s Oregon District massacre that left nine people dead and more than two dozen others injured.   

They also met with hospital staff, first responders and some Ohio lawmakers and public officials. Throughout the president’s visit, a large crowd of people stood across the street chanting in protest.

Nearly 200 protesters lined up along the sidewalk ahead of the president's arrival at Miami Valley Hospital.

A heavy police presence guarded South Main Street as helicopters hovered above a giant baby Trump balloon in a nearby park.

Word spread about Air Force One's arrival at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at around 11:00 a.m. And, protesters waited across from the hospital emergency room entrance for the motorcade to appear.

Trump supporters were outnumbered by protesters. But some pro-Trump supporters did gather near Miami Valley Hospital, including a group that arrived in this camper.
Credit Jess Mador / WYSO

Groups of heavily armed law enforcement officers stood by throughout the afternoon.

Most in the crowd were anti-Trump. But there were a few Trump supporters, who came waving big blue Trump flags.

Inside, the two-hour-long White House visit was closed to Dayton news outlets.

Afterward, hospital officials described it to reporters.

Mary Boosalis is president and CEO of Premier Health. She says the experience was emotional for patients and hospital staff.

“The president and particularly the First Lady interacted with the patients. They were focused on them and their families. The First Lady comes across as very caring and sensitive. She will reach out and touch a patient very naturally. And so that's what struck me.”

Three shooting survivors remain admitted to Miami Valley Hospital and there’s no word yet on when they may be released.

The president’s visit sparked large protests throughout Dayton Wednesday, including one in the Oregon District at the site of a makeshift memorial to the shooting victims.

Despite the intense heat, the gathering outside Miami Valley Hospital was peaceful.

After 1 p.m., the president's motorcade exited the hospital parking garage without stopping.

Protesters ran down the sidewalk after the cars chanting, "do something, do something," and, “32 seconds, nine shots.”