For the third year in a row, First Lady Melania Trump spent part of her Valentine’s Day with some young patients at the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
“[It] has become a treasured tradition of mine,” she wrote on Twitter after the Friday morning visit. “It was a wonderful day to share love & kindness with these strong warriors!”
The residential inn, where children who are receiving treatment at the NIH can spend time in a “place like home,” on Twitter also thanked the first lady for her time “with the seriously ill children of The Inn.” She decorated cookies with them and gave out valentines.
During the visit, one child, Thais, gave her a bouquet of roses and another child, Amana, gave her a frame full of cutout hearts. Both received hugs and a promise that she would put each gift in her office.
“It was fun meeting the first lady,” an 11-year-old girl named Lucy reportedly said afterward. “Not many people get to meet her. We talked about decorating cookies and the White House, how many rooms there are.”
The first lady, 49, has made children’s welfare a key part of her work in the White House with her “Be Best” initiative, which also focuses on cyberbullying and opioid addiction.
But she has faced some criticism, including from those who say Be Best is hypocritical given President Donald Trump‘s history of insulting other people on Twitter.
During Mrs. Trump’s November visit to a Boston hospital, protestors organized outside to demonstrate against her husband’s immigration policies.
The group reportedly numbered as many as 200. Some of them made signs including “Sick kids need doctors not deportation,” and at least one wore a coat that referenced the first lady’s notorious “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket that she wore in 2018 while visiting a detention center holding migrant children in McAllen, Texas.
After Mrs. Trump’s hospital visit on Friday, the first couple’s private Valentine’s plans were less clear. The president spent much of the day tweeting — about himself, about his acquittal at his impeachment trial, about his rivals and about a compliment from Arnold Schwarzenegger — before he and Mrs. Trump headed for their Mar-a-Lago Club that night.
The president’s gift-giving has made headlines before, like when he admitted on Christmas Eve that he was “still working on a Christmas present” for his wife.
“I’m working on a lot of things,” Trump, 73, said at the time. “I got her a beautiful card that — actually, I had a number of them, I picked the nicest one.”
He went on to praise their relationship as one with “a lot of love” and added, “there’s a little time left. Not too much, but there’s a little time left … You made me think. I’m going to have to start working on that real fast.”