#TrumpDerangementSyndrome isn't just a hashtag making the rounds on social media or a conservative talking point directed at those on the left whose unhinged hate for President Donald Trump has hindered their ability to think straight or act rationally.
It's a real disease that has permeated even our most sacred institutions: hospitals.
On Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump visited Boston Medical Center alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to help babies exposed to drugs in the womb and combat substance abuse, two noble acts that better mankind. But instead of welcoming the first lady with open arms and thanking her for supporting mothers and infants affected by the stain of addiction, over 150 hospital workers protested her visit.
They held signs that said, "Children in cages can't be cuddled," and wore white jumpsuits with writing on the back that said, "We really do care. Do you?" Other malcontents held signs with messages attacking the Trump administration.
The reason? Some staff members expressed that they don't like the president's immigration policies and are concerned Melania Trump's visit could upset patients, some of whom are immigrants. A nurse midwife who's an Ecuadorian immigrant told the Boston Globe, "If they thought that my affiliation was with somebody who promotes such division and promotes the hatred of immigrants, I'm sure that they're not going to be asking to come to see me to take care of them."
Huh? First off, the first lady's visit was intended to be a nonpartisan event to support women and infants in need — some of whom are minorities and immigrants. If she or the president were to hate immigrants, why would she travel all over the country and deploy significant time and resources to combat the nationwide drug epidemic disproportionally affecting minority and immigrant communities?
And secondly, if the protesting hospital staff members were to spend any time educating themselves on the facts versus the partisan spin from President Trump's detractors, they'd know that the president and his administration fully support legal immigration, not those who violate U.S. Immigration and Customs laws and cost American taxpayers an estimated $135 billion annually.
But that's not the point. The point is the toxicity of politics in America today has made its way into every crevice of our lives — including hospitals, which are supposed to be insulated from it.
Alarmingly, there's no "safe space" from highly divisive politics anymore. The compassionate first lady who just wants to provide care and comfort to those struggling with drug addiction, and assist in their recovery efforts, is met with hostility from medical workers.
The day before her visit to Boston, I tweeted at Boston Medical Center: "Disappointing @The_BMC The First Lady's visit to your hospital tomorrow is to help babies! And combat drug addiction. How any of your staff could protest such a noble act is nuts. @FLOTUS deserves a warm welcome to Boston! "
I added: "Some of the protestors claim they don't like @realDonaldTrump immigration policies. If that's the case why wasn't Michelle Obama treated similarly at places she visited when her husband's Admin deported MILLIONS of immigrants?"
Here's the truly troubling part: If hospital workers suffering from #TrumpDerangementSyndrome can't act professionally by checking their politics at the hospital door, would they also refuse to treat patients who wear "Make America Great Again" hats? Or those who profess to support the president of the United States?
One would hope not, as the hospital would seriously malign its reputation and be sued for discrimination and medical malpractice. But, again, that's not the point.
The point is our country is in serious trouble when genuine acts of kindness and goodwill toward others — especially infants — are rebuffed for political reasons.
For the record, we never saw this type of hostility directed toward former President Barack Obama's family or administration, which separated immigrant families, put kids in "cages" and deported 3 million illegal immigrants — more than Trump's administration. In case the folks at Boston Medical Center missed it, the Wall Street Journal reported in August, "Under Mr. Obama, removals hit a record of 409,849 in 2012; in 2018, under Mr. Trump, 256,085 immigrants were deported."
With respect to the "cages," The Associated Press reported this tidbit in June: "Obama held children in temporary, ill-equipped facilities and built a large center in McAllen, Texas, that is used now. Democrats routinely and inaccurately blame Trump for creating "cages" for children. They are actually referring to chain-link fencing inside the McAllen center — Obama's creation."
Considering that stark reality, why didn't anyone protest Michelle Obama's visits to area hospitals, businesses and schools while she was first lady? Given what we know of her husband's aggressive handling of illegal immigrants — that earned him the moniker "deporter in chief" — couldn't liberals make the case that his Democratic administration hated immigrants?
Of course they could, thus illustrating that the protestors in Boston are either ill-informed or suffering from #TrumpDerangementSyndrome.
My guess is it's probably both.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.