The 3-year-old has spina bifada — a birth defect that prevents babies from fully developing their spine.
“Washington Democrats promised families like the Weers that if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor, but now there is only one insurer left in the state exchange,” Trump said, gesturing toward the young boy, called Monty by his mother, Marjorie Kelly Weer.
“More Obamacare lies,” Trump said.
In the footage, it appears Trump shakes hands with the participants at the event’s closing, in which Monty’s outstretched palm was not met in kind with Trump’s handshake.
Rowling took to Twitter on Friday in response, calling the perceived rebuke “stunning” and “horrible” that Trump “cannot bring himself to shake the hand of a small boy who only wanted to touch the President,” according to now-deleted tweets quoted by CNN. The first of seven tweets earned more than 75,000 retweets by Monday before they were deleted.
However, the video Rowling appeared to have watched did not show the entire interaction. After an introduction to remarks by Vice President Pence, Trump enters the frame and goes straight to Monty, and he crouches down to say something to the young boy. The video was made available by the White House on July 24, four days before Rowling’s tweets on the subject.
The sharp criticism of Rowling continued over the weekend, when Piers Morgan, the commentator who has engaged in a social media hot war with Rowling in the past, posted a screenshot from what appears to be a Facebook page of Marjorie Kelly Weer, Monty’s mother, saying Trump did not “snub” her son.
Media outlets including CNN scrutinized the accuracy of Rowling’s tweets before they were deleted.
Following the social media-fueled controversy, Rowling tweeted a four-tweet statement apologizing to the Weer family.
Rowling’s publicist did not immediately return a request for comment.
Weer’s family, and by extension, Monty himself, has become a flash point in the health-care reform discussion since the appearance last week. Monty was born after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, and he has never been denied coverage because of preexisting conditions — a centerpiece of the law. The Weers have also not exceeded insurance caps because of the removal of lifetime spending limits, the Post And Courier reported. He also benefits from Medicaid.
But, Weer told the paper, “the pool of doctors to choose from is getting smaller.” After the event, Weer told Fox that continuity of care is a big concern for Montgomery.
Weer was not available for comment, but her cousin Jonathan Bubar told The Washington Post the family has been frustrated with the focus on the world-famous author’s remarks instead of health-care legislation.
“Everyone is talking about Rowling and apologies instead of the real snub, which is Monty and kids like him getting the care he needs with the Affordable Care Act,” Bubar said. “That’s the real issue.”