Days after 17 people lost their lives in a Florida school shooting, Donald Trump did the seemingly presidential thing by paying a visit to the survivors alongside first lady Melania Trump. But despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the trip, POTUS was seen smiling ear-to-ear and giving the thumbs up for various photo ops. His tone-deaf gestures immediately sparked outrage.
Trump made an appearance Friday at the Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, where many of the shooting victims were receiving treatment. The president was seen talking to students and their families inside hospital rooms, as well as meeting with first responders and hospital staff. He, of course, made sure to document his visit on Instagram with a caption that read: “Our entire Nation, with one heavy heart, continues to pray for the victims and their families in Parkland, Florida. To teachers, law enforcement, first responders and medical professionals who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We THANK YOU for your courage — and we are here for you, ALWAYS!”
Many people questioned the sincerity of Trump’s message, as the photos didn’t seem to show a man with a so-called “heavy heart.”
“How can you stand there smiling and give a thumbs up when 17 Americans were killed in one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings?” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) tweeted. “Where is your courage to stand up to the @NRA, @realDonaldTrump?”
According to the New York Times, Trump had only visited with two of the survivors. When asked about his interaction with the victims, Trump didn’t get too specific, and instead took the opportunity to praise the hospital staff.
Many people also pointed out the apparent difference between Trump’s demeanor following the Parkland shooting, and Obama’s following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. You can check out Twitter reactions below.