First lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center on Thursday, meeting and reading to children in the pediatrics unit playroom.
The visit marks her first public engagement as the First Lady of the United States. It is also her first public appearance without her husband although it’s the second time she has visited the young patients.
During her visit to mark National Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mrs. Trump read the late author’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to a group of sick children.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 2, 2017
It was a day of firsts for the first lady as it was also the first time Melania had gone out to volunteer in New York City.
Melania’s New York hospital visit is the second in as many days after she visited Children’s National in Washington DC bringing some cheer to the young ones.
Melania later posted a photo on Wednesday with some of her new friends.
After the visit, she tweeted:
”Thank you for welcoming me @ChildrensHealth. My prayers and thoughts are with all of the children and families #GROWUPSTRONGER”
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 1, 2017
In a statement released after the visit, Melania said:
”I am a passionate believer in integrating and interpreting nature’s elements into our daily lives to create a warm, nurturing and positive environment.”
”I believe that these same natural benefits can be instrumental to enhancing the health and well-being of all children. It is important to me that children can recognize, identify and express their feelings in order to promote their mental wellness and healing process.”
Melania Trump follows in the footsteps of her predecessor, Michelle Obama, in celebrating the rhyming children’s book author.
As part of her Let’s Move initiative, she had 36 elementary school students clad in red and white hats in the East Room of the White House in January 2015 for a reading of “Oh! The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You.”
Melania Trump plans to move to Washington with her son 10-year-old son Barron at the end of the school year. She has been slow to fill key posts in the East Wing.
So far, she has only appointed Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd as White House social secretary and Lindsay Reynolds as chief of staff.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Mrs. Trump who was previously the events director at Vogue magazine, is acting senior adviser to the first lady.
Melania said in a statement last month:
“I am putting together a professional and highly experienced team which will take the time to do properly.”
She also admitted that she was excited to be organizing and bringing together such a dynamic and forward-thinking group of individuals who will work together to make the country better for everyone.