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First Lady Melania Trump Begins Africa Tour In Ghana; Outlets Discuss Some Of President Trump’s Policy Decisions Related To Continent

CNN: Melania Trump is greeted in Ghana, visits baby clinic
“Melania Trump stepped off Executive One, the government plane assigned for her travel, Tuesday and arrived in Ghana on her first major solo journey as first lady. The schedule for Trump’s trip has her spending about a week abroad, zig-zagging the continent to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt…” (Bennett, 10/3).

CNN: Melania Trump’s sunny message in Africa at odds with U.S. policy
“…On her first solo trip abroad as first lady, Melania Trump wants to promote her ‘Be Best’ campaign and highlight women’s and children’s health. But what differs from her predecessors’ tours is that the sunny messaging during Trump’s trip to Africa falls at odds with her husband’s policies, say public health experts and leaders of nongovernmental organizations. … On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which cuts U.S. [global health] funding for foreign charities that provide or promote abortion — even if abortion is legal in that country. … The Mexico City policy isn’t Trump’s only foray into foreign aid. The White House has repeatedly asked for significant funding cuts to USAID and the State Department in its proposed budget. But, so far, there has been bipartisan pushback from Congress — which passes the budget — to any major cuts in foreign assistance. ‘This kind of positioning from the White House affects our relationship with countries across the globe,’ said the Kaiser Family Foundation’s [Jen] Kates. ‘If the U.S. takes an isolationist stance then we will no longer be seen as a leader on the international stage’…” (McKenzie/Swails, 10/3).

Washington Post: Melania Trump begins tour of Africa in Ghana amid questions and criticism
“…As she greets dignitaries in the four countries, Melania Trump plans to engage in the kind of ‘soft diplomacy’ expected of first ladies. Unlike her predecessors, Trump has to contend with the baggage of her husband’s belittling comments about African nations that made headlines across the continent. But USAID Administrator Mark Green, who is accompanying the first lady in Ghana, said the trip serves to ‘symbolize American values and engagement. It spotlights and raises the profile of American programs in action.’ And he said Trump’s focus on children drew her to the region…” (Heil/Jordan, 10/2).

Additional coverage of the first lady’s Africa tour is available from Deutsche Welle and Washington Post.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.