By Kirk A. Bado
The Tennessean, March 15, 2017
A protester interrupted President Donald Trump’s Nashville rally at the Municipal Auditorium Wednesday night.
Holding up a banner proclaiming “Improved Medicare for All,” a demonstrator was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd and led to the president to stop mid-speech (video here).
“One person” he said as security confronted the protester, “and that will be the story tomorrow.”
That one person was Dr. Carol Paris. She is the current president of the national organization Physicians for a National Health Program and is on the steering committee of Health Over Profit for Everyone.
“It was nerve racking, I was frighted,” Paris said in a telephone interview after the speech. “But I believe this is important.”
She said she wrote a letter to the president weeks ago seeking a meeting to discuss healthcare reform. She said she never received a response. After she read that the president would be coming to Nashville, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“It was nerve racking, but I had to do it,” she said.
This is not the first time Paris has demonstrated for healthcare reform. When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress in 2009 and 2010, she went to several demonstrations and protests.
“This is important,” she said. “People are dying in this country for lack of healthcare, I’m a physician and I can’t stand by that.”
Before the rally, an announcement over the arena’s public address system asked attendees to shout down protesters but not to touch them and let the police take care of them.
Shortly after raising her sign, security approached Paris and led her out of the auditorium, she said. The police took down her information, but did not arrest or cite Paris. They took her to the door and asked her to leave, Paris said. But she isn’t deterred in her advocacy mission.
“The same thing I always do,” she said. “I’m going to continue to educate and write.”