While President Trump Spoke in Ohio, Melania Took a Detour the Mainstream Media Ignored

With the first couple traveling to Ohio on Monday, many mainstream media outlets focused largely on criticizing President Donald Trump’s tax reform speech.

Receiving considerably less attention was first lady Melania Trump’s visit to a Cincinnati children’s hospital, where she interacted with young patients and delivered Valentines Day cards.

Melania and her husband traveled together on Air Force One and landed at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport, but then, she embarked on a trip of her own.

As noted by The Cincinnati Enquirer, she was joined by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Jane Portman — the wife of Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman — who serves as chairwoman of the board of trustees for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

While at the hospital, the first lady had the opportunity to spend time in the activity room and bring Valentines cards and coloring books to the children, according to a White House news release.

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Photos of the visit revealed that the young patients seemed to enjoy being around Melania Trump.

One child even stretched out her arms, signaling to the first lady that she wanted to be held. Trump obliged, picking the little girl up and holding her for several minutes.

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The first lady walked from table to table in the activity room. At some tables, the children were playing games, while at others, they were painting or doing arts and crafts.

Wherever she stopped, Melania Trump would ask the children their names and ages, among other questions.

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“Show me what you’re doing,” the first lady asked the children.

Later, the father of one of the patients told The Enquirer that Melania seemed to take an intense interest in the children.

“She was really interested in the kids,” said Nathan Baughman, whose son, Cole, has been a patient at the hospital since he was born. “She was pleasant with Megan and I, but she got down at the kids’ level and was really talking to both of them.”

In addition to speaking with children, the first lady received a briefing from the hospital’s doctors regarding “the many negative effects opioids have on newborns, particularly neonatal abstinence syndrome,” according to the White House.

NAS — which afflicts babies whose mothers take drugs while they are pregnant — is an issue that Melania Trump has taken a particular interest in, especially as her husband’s administration looks to tackle the opioid epidemic.

Though Melania Trump’s visit to the children’s hospital did receive some coverage in the mainstream media, at least one outlet couldn’t help but accuse her of having alternative motives.

“It was a routine Trump has become familiar with for the past several months: acting as a compassionate face on her husband’s presidency, a relatively chaos-ridden administration,” CNN wrote in its article covering the visit.

“As the first lady was comforting sick children, the President was nearby, at the Sheffer Corporation in Blue Ash, Ohio, giving an at-time off-script speech railing against Democrats, accusing them of being ‘un-American’ because they didn’t clap for his State of the Union address.”

The first lady herself, though, was just happy to have the opportunity to meet with the children.

“Thank you Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for a very warm and informative visit. I am so grateful for your continued research on combating opioid abuse and for all you are doing for your patients,” she said following her visit.

“Children will always be my top priority, and I appreciated the opportunity to visit with the young patients today and witness firsthand their strength and spirit.”