This story will serve as an update for the events, comments and other information that comes into our newsroom on Wednesday.
8/7 UPDATE 8 p.m.
PRESIDENT VISITS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER OF EL PASO
University Medical Center of El Paso hosted President Donald J. Trump today during his visit to El Paso to meet with hospital staff, families or victims of the Aug. 3 mass casualty shooting.
While at UMC, President Trump greeted many of UMC’s healthcare providers who ensured the very best care for patients who arrived as a result of the mass casualty shooting Aug. 3.
“Our entire UMC team performed exceedingly well on Aug. 3, along with our partner physicians from Texas Tech Physicians and the entire team at El Paso Children’s Hospital,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO. “This was an opportunity for us to showcase our expertise and facility, a place that our entire region can look to for the highest level of care.”
What follows is the White House Pool Report of the visit via Eli Stokols – LA Times, Washington Bureau
POTUS arrived at University Hospital in El Paso at roughly 3 p.m. Pool did not see him enter. As we neared the hospital, some crowds of protesters could be seen gathered down a few side streets.
Pool held for the last hour or so in a hallway by some elevators while POTUS met with victims, families and medical staff at University Hospital in El Paso. One doctor getting on the elevator did express some excitement to a colleague about having gotten “a pic with POTUS” on his phone.
At 4:07 p.m., we were directed back downstairs and then out of the hospital and into vans. As in Dayton earlier, there was no opportunity here for the pool to see POTUS or any of the people he met with during this visit.
The White House reiterates to the pool that they have kept the pool at a distance today out of respect for victims and families who they didn’t want to feel overwhelmed by a crush of reporters and cameras. Per her previous gaggle on AF1, Stephanie Grisham said the White House would be releasing photos after being asked by a reporter.
Motorcade is rolling from the hospital as of 4:23.
A few hundred onlookers gathered on the sidewalk, cameras in the air, as POTUS pulled away from the hospital at 4:23 p.m. local time. Driving back through town, one group of protestors could be seen again down a side street.
After about a 15-minute ride north on US 54, POTUS is nearing his second stop in El Paso at an emergency operations center. Pool access is again uncertain.
POTUS pulled into the gates of the El Paso Regional Communications Center at 4:42 local time. On the street outside, in a group of protestors, someone held up a large white bedsheet on which they’d written in black: “Racist, go home.”
Pool is holding in a meeting room; pool coverage of what we’re told will be a quick event is still unknown.
Q Mr. President, can you tell us about today and what you’ve seen?
THE PRESIDENT: We had an amazing day. As you know, we left Ohio. And the love and the respect for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it. I wish you could have been in there.
And it was no different here. We went to the hospital — just came from the hospital. We were there a lot longer than we were anticipated to be. It was supposed to be just a fairly quick — we met with numerous people. We met with also the doctors, the nurses, the medical staff. They have done an incredible job — both places. Just incredible.
And the enthusiasm, the love, the respect, and also the — telling me, “Let’s see if we can get something done.” And Republicans want to do it and Democrats want to do it.
And, by the way, here is a great hero. This man — the job he did. You all know who it is. Everybody — the whole world knows who you are now, right?
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY: Yes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: So you’ll be a movie star, the way you look. That’ll be — hey, that’ll be next. Who knows, right?
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: But what a job. What a job you did.
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OAKLEY: Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: There are a lot of heroes. There are a lot of heroes. A lot of people did just incredible work. Now we’re going in, I believe, Chief, and say hello to some of your folks.
POLICE CHIEF ALLEN: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: This is one of the most respected men in law enforcement, and I want to thank you very much.
POLICE CHIEF ALLEN: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.
Q President Trump, you said today was about healing and unity, and you’ve attacked a number of your critics — Vice President Biden, Senator Brown, Mayor Whaley, as well as various members of the media. Can you explain why you chose to take that tone?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, they shouldn’t be politicking. Yeah, they shouldn’t be politicking today. I had it with Sherrod Brown. He and the mayor, Nan Whaley, they asked to go in — “Could we possibly go in and make the tour with you?” I said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”
They couldn’t believe what they saw, and they said it to people. They’ve never seen anything like it. The entire hospital — no different than what we had in El Paso — the entire hospital was — I mean, everybody was so proud of the job they did because they did a great job. They did a great job here.
And then I said goodbye. I took them in, at their request. We made the tour. They couldn’t believe it. She said it to people. He said it to people.
I get on Air Force One, where they do have a lot of televisions. I turn on the television, and there they are, saying, “Well, I don’t know if it was appropriate for the President to be in…” You know, et cetera, et cetera. You know, the same old line. And they’re very dishonest people and that’s probably why he got, I think, about zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.
We’re going to go in and see some very brave people. And I wanted to meet this hero before I did anything. And we appreciate it.
Pool is moving to a second, larger room where roughly 100 first responders are gathered. Trump just entered and is praising first responders.
In the larger room, Trump told the first responders that they are “the best” and gave brief remarks before moving to a line to shake hands with a number of the people.
Pool is in the back of the room and it is hard to hear POTUS clearly, but I could hear him say “All over the world, they’re talking about the job you’ve done.”
He also referenced the El Paso shooter and seemed to be saying something about how he “gave up” but pool couldn’t make out the quote clearly.
As POTUS shook hands and spoke with some first responders, he made his way closer to the pool.
“I saw you on television the other day and you were fantastic,” Trump told a female office who responded to the Wal-Mart shooting.
He also signed a couple autographs, speaking in a low voice and sometimes a whisper.
Trump, after making his way around the room, concluded by telling the group that he “sent a lot of new equipment your way.”
He said that if they need anything just to call. He exited the room at 5:15. Pool headed back to vans.
The motorcade was rolling at 5:22 p.m. local time and returned to El Paso International Airport at 5:36.
POTUS waited a moment until the stairs were moved into place, then exited the limousine, waved to the pool, and climbed up the steps with FLOTUS to board at 5:40.
Thank you to co-pooler Ashley Parker for her help catching and transcribing quotes. And another thank you to Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham for pushing for pool access at our final stop and to all of our wranglers today.
Walmart announces $400,000 in support of the El Paso Community
In response to the tragic event in El Paso on Saturday, Walmart is committing $400,000 in direct cash grants to support local community foundations that have set up funds for those impacted by the tragedy.
To address the urgent need of support, Walmart is providing cash donations to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Shooting Victims’ Fund and Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Victims Relief Fund. Walmart is also working closely with local officials and government entities to help meet the needs of those affected.
“Our hearts ache for El Pasoans,” said Greg Foran, president and chief executive officer, Walmart U.S. “As we work on helping our associates through this tragedy, we also want to help ensure the community has the resources it needs by providing funds to support the important work the El Paso Community Foundation and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation are doing during this difficult time. We want to support the people of El Paso every step of the way.”
The El Paso Community Foundation, established in 1977, has a long history of providing a wide-range of philanthropic services including community convener, grant maker and leadership organization for the El Paso region. Since 2013, the Paso del Norte Community Foundation has worked to improve education, health, social services, economic development and quality of life in the Paso del Norte region.
In addition to the commitments to the two foundations, Sam’s Club has donated food and water to the local family reunification center and three area hospitals. Walmart is also providing support for its associates through its Resources for Living program to ensure they have what they need at this difficult time.
Fountains at Farah to Donate $100,000 to Victims’ Relief Fund
The Fountains at Farah announced today that the center will match up to $100,000 in donations towards the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Relief Fund at the El Paso Community Foundation.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit the donation website to donate. The foundation is waiving all administrative fees and credit card fees associated with the fund. The donations will help the families of those affected.
“We continue to grieve for the victims and their families in the wake of this horrific tragedy,” said Giovanni Silva, General Manager at The Fountains at Farah. “We applaud the ongoing efforts of our local law enforcement and medical professionals who protect and care for those in the Borderplex community.”
8/7 UPDATE 3 p.m.
President Trump lands in El Paso, heads to UMC to meet with victims
Some 3 hours after visiting the country’s second mass shooting location in Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump landed in El Paso. The President’s visit is expected to be a brief one, similar to his Dayton stop where he visited with survivors at a local hospital, as well as first responders.
It’s unknown if the President will be visiting the makeshift memorial directly behind the Cielo Vista Walmart where 22 people were killed on Saturday.
UPDATE: UMC, EPCH GIVE STATUS OF PATIENTS
University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital today provided an update on the patients treated at each hospital as a result of the mass casualty shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3.
The following is an update regarding the 15 patients brought to University Medical Center of El Paso as a result of the mass casualty shooting:
2 children were transferred from University Medical Center to El Paso Children’s Hospital on Aug. 3 with non-life threatening injuries and discharged by El Paso Children’s Hospital Aug. 4
4 adult patients have been discharged from University Medical Center
1 adult patient was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at University Medical Center on Aug. 3
5 adult patients remain in critical condition and are receiving treatment in University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit
3 adult patients are in stable but serious condition at University Medical Center
Another update will be provided as appropriate or when there is a significant change in status of these patients.
MountainStar Sports Group, Foster Family Foundation and Hunt Family Foundation Announce Support For Victims of Saturday’s Tragedy
The MountainStar Sports Group Foundation, on behalf of the El Paso Chihuahuas Foundation and the El Paso Locomotive FC Foundation, the Foster Family Foundation and Hunt Family Foundation together announced today they will contribute a total of $150,000 to the two victims’ relief funds to support those affected by the tragic event that occurred on Saturday, August 3rd in El Paso.
“On behalf of MountainStar Sports Group and our two ownership families, our thoughts are with the victims and their families that were affected by the tragedy that took place Saturday,” said MountainStar Sports Group CEO and co-owner, Josh Hunt. “We are thankful for the first responders for ensuring the safety of our community and the medical staff that have given countless hours to those who remain hospitalized because of this tragedy.”
The Chihuahuas return to Southwest University Park today, Wednesday, August 7th for the start of a seven game homestand. In support of the community, the Chihuahuas will wear their black road jerseys featuring the “El Paso” script and will don the black “EP” cap.
A moment of silence will be held prior to the first pitch.
The Chihuahuas and Locomotive will also wear an “ELPASOSTRONG” patch on their jerseys for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Additionally, upon entry to the Locomotive game on August 17th, fans will receive “ELPASOSTRONG” flags and a moment of silence will be observed prior to kickoff.
Support for the El Paso community does not end with the Chihuahuas and the Locomotive teams.
Locomotive players, led by midfielder Sabastian Velasquez, have raised more than $20,000 to support EP Fusion FC, a youth soccer team that was directly affected by Saturday’s tragedy. Monies raised will also be donated to support victims and their families.
Velasquez, along with other El Paso Locomotive players, began a Twitter campaign to help in the fundraising efforts. Teams, players, and coaches from around the United States and beyond have made contributions.
The San Diego Padres, the Chihuahuas Major League Baseball affiliate, are also assisting in the El Paso Victims Relief Fund efforts. The Padres will wear the black “EP” cap during Thursday’s batting practice in San Diego. At the conclusion of batting practice, the players will sign the caps and later the Chihuahuas will auction them off with proceeds benefiting the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.
The Padres organization will also make a $30,000 donation to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund via a joint contribution from the Padres Foundation, Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler.
Moreover, fellow Texas club San Antonio FC will join the Locomotive in making a donation to victims’ funds.
MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford said, “Both the Chihuahuas and Locomotive organizations have been overwhelmed by the outreach and support from outside El Paso. Clearly, those we work with who have gotten to know El Paso and its people have developed a love for this city which they’ve expressed with their words and generous donations. We are very thankful and touched by this outpouring of love and support. El Paso is an amazingly resilient community and as it moves forward, the city will be stronger than ever. We look forward to playing a role in this process.”
More information on the Chihuahuas and Locomotive efforts are forthcoming.
For more information on how to contribute to victims’ relief efforts, visit pdnfoundation.org or contact the Paso del Norte Community Foundation at (915) 544-7636 and/or the visit epcf.org or call the El Paso Community Foundation at (915) 533-4020
Paso del Norte Community Foundation: Victim’s relief fund now at $1.6m and growing
The El Paso Victims Relief Fund was established to accept monetary donations to support victims and their families affected by the tragedy of Saturday, August 3, 2019.
The outpouring of support has been extraordinary with more than $1.6 million in donations of gifts large and small received to date from over 3,087 donors, with additional contributions expected over the coming days and weeks. The fund has been the beneficiary of significant corporation contributions as well as proceeds from local fundraising efforts.
“This has been an incredibly difficult week for our community struck by an unthinkable act of violence. We are so grateful for the generosity and caring of thousands of people in El Paso and around the United States and the world,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. “Our hearts are with each family and our entire community.”
The Paso del Norte Community Foundation is working with the City of El Paso and other funding and community partners to coordinate and provide direct financial assistance to the victims and their families to assist with short, medium and long-term expenses. The PDN Community Foundation will not assess any administrative fees to ensure that 100% of donations support victims and their families.
Sample of corporate contributions to date:
– El Paso Electric – First National Bank 1871 – Group 1 Automotive – Helen of Troy – Hunt Companies – Macy’s – Mimco/Marcus Family – MountainStar Sports – Panda Express – Peter Piper Pizza – Platinum Software Labs – Tiguas Ysleta del Sur – United Bank of El Paso – Verizon Wireless – Walmart.org
To donate or to learn more, visit pdnfoundation.org or call 915-544-7636. #ElPasoStrong
Cornyn Returns to El Paso, Donates Blood, and Condemns Hate-Filled Act of White Supremacist
Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) visited Vitalant’s El Paso West location to donate blood to aid survivors of the shooting in El Paso.
While there, he spoke to reporters about what Congress can do to prevent shootings like in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio from happening again in the future.
Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below.
“What happened here in El Paso is heartbreaking, and I know we’re all looking for information and answers. Meeting with some of the families in the hospital, as I know the president will do today, it’s amazing to me to see their resilience.”
“In Congress, we’re trying to come up with some answers.”
“We have tried to respond to some of these mass shootings in the past by improving our background check system to make sure that felons and other people who are already legally disqualified from getting firearms do so, but we also know that mental health is a huge factor.”
“But this particular incident looks clearly to be the act of a white supremacist, an act of domestic terrorism.”
“How you identify these people before they commit their crimes is really the puzzle that we have to try to be able to figure out how to solve.”
“This is a puzzle that we need to try to solve if we’re going to protect innocent lives, as we must do.”
“Senator McConnell, the Majority Leader of the Senate, has tasked members of the Senate to come together to see what sort of legislative responses might be appropriate, and some of the work we’ve done in the past, I think, is helpful, but it doesn’t cover something quite like this.”
“We need to try to adjust and to try to come up with ideas where we can hopefully identify people like this earlier and hopefully take them out of action so that they don’t commit these terrible, terrible acts of violence.”
8/7 UPDATE 12 Noon
CNN: President visits Dayton, greeted by protesters
President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio Wednesday morning, the site of the nation’s second mass shooting on Saturday.
According to sources there, the president met with some victims, family members as well as first responders. He did not make any public remarks during his 3-hour visit.
President Trump is expected to arrive in El Paso shortly before 2 p.m.
Following Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, 11 victims were transported and treated at Del Sol Medical Center.
-As of August 7, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. MT, six patients remain in this hospital, with one in critical condition and five in stable condition.
-Del Sol Medical Center patient Octavio Lizarde, who participated in the August 6 press conference, underwent orthopedic surgery on his injured foot. According to his surgeon, Lt. Col. Dr. Justin Orr, the surgery went very well.
-Del Sol Medical Center is not expecting a POTUS visit, nor is the hospital planning a press conference today.
8/7 UPDATE 10:00 a.m.
El Paso’s own Khalid will hold his benefit concert for the mass shooting victims on September 1st at the Don Haskins Arena.
El Paso Mayor Pro Tem Perez and Commissioner Perez Joint Statement on President’s Visit
El Paso Mayor Pro Tempore Claudia Ordaz Perez and County Commissioner Vincent Perez issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s visit to El Paso:
“As the people of El Paso heal from the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history against Hispanics, we call on the President to use his visit to personally condemn racial terrorism by white supremacists, in no uncertain terms.
“Calling on our nation to condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy must begin with President of the United States demanding an end to these domestic acts of terrorism, where the lives of 22 innocent victims from our community are now lost. If the President fails to strongly condemn this racially-motivated terrorist attack and fails to call for an end to the use of violence against minority groups by radicalized white nationalist terrorists during his visit, his continued depiction of immigrants and migrants as a threat to our nation will only place our community at greater risk for racially-motivated attacks.