On Thursday, Melania Trump made her first solo foray in public as first lady, in a visit to a hospital pediatric wing to read words of inspiration to sick children. The afternoon reading was in in honor of the author’s birthday and National Read Across America Day. She wore donned large black sunglasses and stepped into a car that was part of a small motorcade waiting outside Trump Tower to take her to the hospital about a mile and a half away.
“So you know what is today?” she asked the children, who wore hospital gowns and gathered in a playroom in the pediatric wing of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan to see her. “It’s a reading day. So I came to encourage you to read, and to think about what you want to achieve in life.”
Mrs. Trump, whose aides had arranged for a small pool of reporters and photographers to cover the visit, then proceeded to read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” a Dr. Seuss classic that she said was a favorite of hers.
Melania Trump reads Dr. Seuss to children in first solo outing as first lady https://t.co/HLOtTdLaVe
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 3, 2017
“You’ll be as famous as famous can be,” Mrs. Trump read from the book. “With the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”
Ever since her husband took office, Mrs. Trump has stayed mostly out of the spotlight. Notably, she has appeared at her husband’s side for only a few official events, most recently accompanying him to the Capitol for his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Previously, Mrs. Trump has expressed her interest in working to combat cyberbullying, but has yet to start such a program. Although she has named a chief of staff and a social secretary, the White House has not announced the hiring of other key players in the East Wing, such as a communications director, a press secretary or other senior staff members.
Mrs. Trump has made it known she does not intend to be present much in Washington at least in the short term, and has opted to reside in New York while the couple’s 10-year-old son, Barron, finishes his school year.
“I hope you’re all feeling well,” Mrs. Trump told the assembled children. After she finished reading the book, Mrs. Trump gave it to a young girl who had been listening, saying, “I encourage you all to read a lot – to get educated.”