Updated 1:31 p.m.
City Councilman Eric Ulrich wants the name of a certain presidential candidate with a knack for controversial statements removed from a rehabilitation facility at Jamaica Hospital.
Ulrich called on the hospital Tuesday morning to rename the Trump Pavilion for Nursing and Rehabilitation in light of billionaire celebrity Donald Trump’s recent claim that U.S. Senator John McCain wasn’t a hero because he was captured in combat during the Vietnam War.
“Donald Trump’s offensive rhetoric is a slap in the face to New York City’s veterans and their families, especially those who had been ‘captured’ as former POWs,” Ulrich said in a statement Tuesday. “His recent attack on Senator John McCain is downright despicable. He is not suited to be president of the United States, and does not deserve to have a hospital facility named after him.”
The Trump Pavilion opened on the Jamaica Hospital campus in 1975 and was named for Mary Trump, Donald’s mother. An Ulrich spokesperson, however, indicated removing the Trump name from the pavilion is appropriate because “it’s his namesake, and that’s not representative of what the hospital would want to stand for in terms of serving veterans.”
Jamaica Hospital replaced the original Trump Pavilion in 2009 with a $44 million, state-of-the-art facility featuring 224 beds and facilities to accommodate patients requiring both short- and long-term rehabilitation.
Since launching his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in June, Donald Trump has made a number of controversial, attention-grabbing public statements, including claims that the Mexican government was sending “rapists” into the U.S. Though his provocative soundbites caused businesses to cut ties with him and evoked condemnation from his opponents, Trump has resisted calls to apologize.
Even so, recent polls suggest that Trump has a substantial lead in the wide-open Republican field of more than a dozen candidates. The Iowa caucus — the first big test on the 2016 campaign trail — is six months away.
A Jamaica Hospital spokesperson said on Tuesday that the medical center has no comment at this time.