Paul heads to Haiti for pro bono medical work
The presidential candidate is visiting Haiti this weekend to perform pro bono eye surgeries, according to The Washington Post.
“We kind of suggested it,” he said of the trip’s genesis. “There was talk about Haiti being in great need, and it’s fairly close to the United States. Haiti, unfortunately, is famous for a long history of problems.”
The University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center is conducting and sponsoring the philanthropic journey, according to the report.
Paul previously partnered with that organization for a similar visit to Guatemala in 2014.
The visit is the latest in a series of such ventures taken during Congress’s annual August recess.
“You want to go where the need is greatest,” Paul said.
“In our country, when you have cataracts, they’re relatively easy to fix,” he said. “The people we will treat in Haiti — many of them will be completely blind. There’s less medical access there.”
“It’s closer to the equator,” Paul added. “There’s more sun, people are outside more and fewer people even have sunglasses. So there’s a lot you can do.”
Paul admitted Friday that his work in medicine offers a rewarding break from his political office.
“The main thing is for me personally is that it’s one of the most incredible things I get to be involved with,” he said.
“It’s still the most important thing I get to do, even while I’m in the Senate, even while I’m running for president,” Paul said. “Two hundred people will be better because we are going to be down there.
“It’s nice to get away from politics, and do something where you act and there’s an immediate result,” he added. “You take the bandages off, and someone can see. I will continue doing this throughout my life, and at some point I can foresee getting back into medicine full-time.”
Paul argued that trips like his are essential for impoverished countries so their medical infrastructure can improve and better help their citizens.
“Local surgeons will get some training, and they’ll use that training,” he said of his Haiti trek. “The goal is not for Americans to keep coming down and doing it, but for Haitians to do more of it themselves.”
“In medicine, you’re transferring skills,” he added. “Even when you train, you’re learning skills.”
Paul’s trip comes as he struggles to find footing in the GOP’s crowded 2016 presidential field.
Many of his party’s other White House hopefuls are spending their weekends at the Iowa State Fair, a major campaign stop.