If you thought you were managing your moderate-to-severe Trump Derangement Syndrome symptoms but they flare up in contact with a contagion like, say, a member of the Trump family, you’re not alone.
Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, can have rare but serious side effects for those who work in the public light.
Those side effects can include self-important outrage and ill-considered displays of public protest that devolve into embarrassment. Contact with CNN can exacerbate these symptoms. Speak to your doctor if you believe your TDS is getting out of control. Or just make a fool of yourself. Either one.
Even though they have plenty of access to health facilities, staff at Boston Medical Center decided to go with the latter option in terms of managing their TDS.
When first lady Melania Trump came to visit the facility on Wednesday, she was greeted by a “Stand-In for Solidarity,” in which 250 center employees were scheduled to protest her visit via a silent display of either solidarity (their words) or inanity (my take).
The protest, according to Boston Magazine, was “meant to reflect participants’ support of BMC patients, many of whom have been aversely affected by Trump administration policies.”
The same thing, of course, could be said about patients under any administration that dealt with health care in a meaningful, substantive way.
A quick search couldn’t dig up any results for a Boston Medical Center protest against Obamacare, but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when we’re dealing with a hospital in one of the most liberal parts of the only state that went for George McGovern in 1972.
What did surprise me, however, were the optics of the situation.
It wasn’t just that Trump was visiting the hospital, which is — last I checked — generally a gig where presidents or first ladies of any stripe are welcome.
It wasn’t because it was under the auspices of her “Be Best” program (or, as Boston Magazine put it, her “much-lampooned ‘Be Best’ initiative”) which deals with bullying, internet safety and opioid abuse and addiction, among other things.
No, nothing quite as assailable as that. She was visiting a ward specializing in babies born to mothers addicted to prescription or illegal drugs. The children are suffering from an affliction known as neonatal abstinence syndrome.
The program is called Cuddling Assists in Lowering Maternal and Infant Stress, or CALM.
In other words, Melania was literally visiting a neonatal ward in a hospital along with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to study a program in which babies suffering from horrible withdrawal symptoms are cuddled.
Excellent job of picking your battles, folks.
Here’s the protest:
Medical professionals standing in solidarity at Boston Medical center in protest of First Lady Melania Trumps visit.
First lady visiting cuddle program at Boston hospital for babies born on drugs.@boston25 pic.twitter.com/DPDaFxnI5j
— Scott McDonnell (@ScottMcDonnell_) November 6, 2019
“Our BMC affirms the dignity, respect, and basic needs of every child, including their absolute right to be with their family,” a social media graphic shared by staff at the hospital read.
“Our BMC does not privilege the demands of those in political power over the best interest of our patients.”
— Anthony J. Mell, MD, MBA (@AnthonyJMellMD1) November 6, 2019
This is where the people of Boston Medical Center decided to plant their flag. And this didn’t have to do with the usual excuse that the Be Best initiative is anti-bullying while President Donald Trump says mean things about people.
Nothing as slightly defensible as that. Instead, what we got was the usual word salad of liberal complaints.
One of these, delivered without apparent irony, was that “[o]ur BMC rejects he criminalization and stigmatization of addiction and embraces patient-centered care for people suffering from substance abuse disorder.”
Where, pray tell, did they think Melania Trump was visiting? Some Dickensian jail where she looked on approvingly as the mothers of these children were writhing through a forced detox while strapped down to gurneys, awaiting a trial which would put them behind bars for 20-to-life?
She was visiting a neonatal abstinence syndrome ward, for the love of Pete. Was there no self-awareness involved in this protest?
Other arguments put forth by the protesters included the claim that countenancing the first lady would affect the willingness of illegal immigrants to seek treatment there.
“If they thought that my affiliation was with somebody who promotes such division and promotes the hatred of immigrants, I’m sure that they’re not going to be asking to come to see me to take care of them,” Cecilia T. Girard, a nurse midwife who hails from Ecuador, told The Boston Globe.
Aside from infantilizing illegal immigrants and assuming they lack the intelligence to know that neither the hospital nor its workers were endorsing parts of the Trump administration’s policy by accepting a visit from the first lady, here again is the same leap of logic — any president whose policies are insufficiently liberal is harming their patients so gravely that a visit from the first lady simply can’t be tolerated.
Any sort of move to enforce the laws that are on the books makes anyone associated with the administration “somebody who promotes such division and promotes the hatred of immigrants.”
Well, at least they made their point soberly and without any cheap humor:
— hospitals_not_cages (@StandforBMC) November 6, 2019
For her part, Boston Medical Center CEO Kate Walsh defended the first lady’s visit as tepidly as possible.
“The First Lady of the United States asked to come here because we are leaders,” Walsh said in a letter to employees.
“We are doing important, impactful work. It’s my hope that this visit will lead other providers across the country to offer the types of effective, non-stigmatizing treatment and programming that we provide here at BMC,” she added.
“As important, it is also my hope that the visit will be a unique opportunity to share our values of respect and inclusion with federal leaders whose policies have a significant impact on the vulnerable populations we are dedicated to serving. Nothing is more compelling than seeing firsthand the life changing care our staff provides to patients and families every day.”
That life-changing care had better include some TDS treatment.
It’s clear the staff could use it.
They’re not the only ones.
The Trumps could cure cancer — or neonatal abstinence syndrome — and many on the left would still loathe them.
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