Melania Trump has said the power of nature can help sick children recover, asserting that she is a "passionate believer" in the power of nature's elements in improving health and well-being.
During a visit to a paediatric ward in New York City, Ms Trump told patients and doctors she believed nature could be "instrumental" to improving children's health.
“I am a passionate believer in integrating and interpreting nature’s elements into our daily lives to create a warm, nurturing and positive environment," the First Lady said, according to a statement released by the hospital.
"I believe that these same natural benefits can be instrumental to enhancing the health and well-being of all children.
"It is important to me that children can recognise, identify and express their feelings in order to promote their mental wellness and healing process."
Her remarks came amid Donald Trump's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act — a move that could strip health care coverage from up to 13 million children.
During the visit, which fell on World Book Day, Ms Trump read a book to some of the sick children at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, which included the line: “You'll be famous as famous can be."
Reading Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! — which she said was one of her favourite books — the First Lady told the youngsters: “You go places where you feel better,” before reading: “You’ll be as famous as famous can be. With the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”
The hospital marked Ms Trump's first solo outing as First Lady. She has otherwise kept a low profile, appearing only at her husband’s side for a number of official events.
It has subsequently been claimed the First Lady is “miserable” in her role, reluctantly grappling with how to embrace the increased scrutiny, but others have argued her low profile is an indication that she is still settling the family and is taking her time to determine how she will make an impact.
Former White House social secretary Ann Stock recently told the Washington Post: “Each First Lady takes on the role and makes it their own. That evolves over time. First [priority] for every President and First Lady is settling in their family."
Ms Trump assumed her role with the lowest favourability ratings of any modern first lady. Thirty-seven per cent of the public had a favourable view of her in a Gallup poll released in January, while the same percentage gave her an unfavourable rating.
Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton each had a favourability rating above 55 per cent when they became first lady.
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