Bay Area VA hospitals hang printed presidental portrait; waiting for official copies

- Is it partisan policies at play or just the pace of government?

Much had been made over government buildings and President Donald Trump's official portrait, or lack thereof. A south Florida congressman grabbed headlines earlier this week when he personally delivered pictures of the president and secretary of veterans affairs to a West Palm Beach VA hospital. 

Gruntworks, a military apparel company and veterans group in south Florida, teamed up with Florida Congressman and Purple Heart recipient Brian Mast to make sure the hospital hung the president's portrait.

"We would have done the same thing if Hillary Clinton had won the elections," said Beau Brumfield, a veteran and spokesman from Gruntworks. "The Commander in Chief is our boss. This is about respect."

The new pictures went up, but were taken down a few hours later. That prompted an uproar and an eventual presidential directive to hang the portraits in VA hospitals across the country.

Before that order came down on Friday, VA hospital facilities across the Bay Area had already taken matters into their own hands.

"There was quite a bit of controversy so we reached out and ended up getting permission from the VA central office to download and print out locally both the president and secretary's photos and hang them up as a temporary measure," said James A. Haley Veterans Hospital spokesman Ed Drohan.

Drohan says the absence of President Trump's portrait was never deliberate, the official photo simply hadn't shown up.

"The normal process for the presidential portrait is that, on inauguration day, we take down the old president's photo, then we have to wait for the government publishing office to send us the new president's photo to hang it up," explained Drohan. "We had a lot of people asking about it. Some people were concerned, some people weren't, but the whole thing about it is that we couldn't put it up because we didn't have it."

Drohan says the temporary portraits of the president and secretary will remain until the hospital receives the official prints from the White House to replace them. 

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