Canadian doctor with deep Haiti ties ‘profoundly disappointed’ at Trump ‘shithole’ remarks

A St. John’s orthopedic surgeon who founded a volunteer organization that has undertaken numerous medical missions to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake says recent comments attributed to President Donald Trump are upsetting to his team, not to mention friends and colleagues in the Caribbean country.

During a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office on Thursday, Trump reportedly questioned why the United States would accept immigrants from Haiti and other developing nations he termed “shithole countries.”

That description didn’t sit well with Dr. Andrew Furey, who founded Team Broken Earth and has personally travelled Haiti more than 20 times to provide health care and help train local medical professionals.


U.S. President Donald Trump is facing criticism for remarks he made during an Oval Office meeting where he referred to developing nations such as Haiti as “shithole countries.” (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“I’m profoundly disappointed in the level of ignorance. It’s quite upsetting,” Furey told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show.

“To have a county’s representative like the United States … make a comment like that was truly hurtful.”

Team Broken Earth

Furey first decided to pack up and leave St. John’s when he saw news reports about the 2010 quake, and knew he could at least help people with some of their broken bones and other injuries.

Since founding Team Broken Earth, the effort has gone on to include a year-round presence in Haiti where 20 different teams a year travel to the country from Canada to not only set broken bones but to train local doctors on how to do the same.

Haiti pictures

Team Broken Earth is a team of Canadian doctors, nurses and medical professionals that regularly travel to Haiti to provide medical care and training for local health care workers.

Speaking on the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake, Furey said there are still no words to describe the poverty and destruction he’s witnessed in Haiti, which is why it’s so painful to see a leader like Trump speak so low of the country.

“I thought of what they’ve gone through over the years, and not just the earthquake,” he said.

“Historically, over time, being the first independent black nation with serious political turmoil … they faced more hardship as a culture and people than anyone else on earth.”

Defending the Haitian people

Describing himself as not one to publicly speak out about international politics, Furey said after seeing what his Haiti colleagues are saying online he feels Trump’s comments are worth public criticism.

“I don’t usually comment on certain items like this but it was profoundly disappointing that he would have such a distinct misunderstanding of the Haiti culture and people,” he said.

Canadian doctor with deep Haiti ties ‘profoundly disappointed’ at Trump ‘shithole’ remarks

Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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