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El Paso, Dayton hospitals deny Trump claim of doctors leaving OR to meet him

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio are denying President Trump's claim this week that doctors left operating rooms to meet him during his trips to visit the survivors and first-responders of this month's deadly mass shootings.

Speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Trump said "the doctors were coming out of the operating rooms" to greet him.

"There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn't even walk on it," he said.

But both hospitals have confirmed that doctors did not leave any patients or operating rooms to meet the president in the wake of the mass shootings, which left more than 30 dead.  

"At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit," Ryan Mielke, a spokesperson for University Medical Center of El Paso, said in a statement to The Washington Post. "Our priority is always patient care."

None of the eight patients who were still hospitalized at University Medical Center at the time agreed to meet with Trump during his trip on Aug. 7, the hospital confirmed to the Post.

"This is a very sensitive time in their lives," Mielke said. "Some of them said they didn't want to meet with the president, some of them didn't want any visitors." 

Ben Sutherly, a spokesperson for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, also confirmed that no doctors left operating rooms to meet with the president during his visit earlier that same day.

"Our physicians and staff at no time leave an active operating room, procedural area or patient room to greet anyone," Sutherly said.

Trump lashed out at the media after the visits, accusing reporters of saying "nobody would meet" with him when he traveled to the two cities after the shootings.

"The love for me - and me, maybe, as a representative of the country - but for me - and my love for them was unparalleled. These are incredible people. But if you read the papers, it was like nobody would meet with me," Trump said.

"Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room," he continued.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the president and first lady Melania Trump were "received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them. It was a moving visit for all involved."

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