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FEBRUARY 16, 2018 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! Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health. God Bless You All — and THANK YOU!
Two days after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, Donald and Melania Trump paid a visit to the Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, Florida, to meet with victims and the medical staff treating them. The visit was widely criticized as a publicity move, as the president beamed and gave an enthusiastic thumb’s-up gesture to a White House photographer capturing the scene.
So it certainly isn’t helping that the Trump campaign sent out an email over the weekend featuring the above image of 17-year-old Madeleine Wilford lying in her hospital bed to solicit re-election funds. Wilford was shot four times in the massacre at her school, which left her needing extensive surgeries to repair her arm and ribs.
“The nation has turned its attention to the senseless school shooting in Parkland, Florida,” the email reads. “Trump is taking steps toward banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers,” it says. “The President has made his intent very clear: ‘making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.'”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have been the loudest voices in the aftermath of the tragedy, and one called out the campaign for the gratuitous use of the photo. “Don’t you f*cking dare use a photo of one of my best friends for your benefit,” tweeted Morgan Williams. “If you truly cared, maybe you would have stayed at the hospital longer than 20 minutes.”
The voices of these teens are only going to grow louder, as Trump continues to push for more guns in schools. And unfortunately for him, a lot of these survivors and their peers are going to be registered voters in 2020.