Cleveland Clinic, American Cancer Society Cancel Events At Trump's Mar-A-Lago

Cleveland Clinic Says 2018 Gala Won't Be at Mar-a-Lago

A leading US hospital pulled its annual fundraiser from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on Thursday, reversing course after initially resisting pressure from health professionals and others over the president's support for repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting federal budget dollars to medical research.

The Cleveland Clinic's cancellation was an abrupt change, and the hospital system had still meant to host its ninth gala there as recently as last week. "It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations", it said in a statement to the Palm Beach Post.

The hospital folded to pressure when it announced it would end an eight-year streak and pull out of its yearly fundraiser held at Trump's luxury venue, the clinic said on Thursday.

One more philanthropic event could be on its way out. Proceeds from previous Mar-a-Lago galas have helped pay for medical equipment, nursing education and wheelchairs, according to the organization's website. "And anyone who would demonstrate even a modicum of support for them by insisting that there are "good people" among them is not deserving of my personal patronage or that of my foundations".

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The head of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, of which Mar-a-Lago is a member, also called the president's business "morally reprehensible" on Thursday and said she expected more charities to defect.

The American Red Cross faced similar pushback in January, when demonstrators rallied outside its annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago as the worldwide humanitarian relief organization was offering aid to those affected by Trump's moratorium on the US refugee program.

"After careful consideration, Cleveland Clinic has decided that it will not hold a Florida fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in 2018", the statement said.

Toby Cosgrove, the chief executive of Cleveland Clinic was a member of the Strategic and Policy Forum, one of Trump's two business advisory councils that disbanded this week in the wake of Trump's explosive comments. As president, he has raised the club's profile by making repeated visits there.

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A Columbus cardiologist who signed it says Cleveland Clinic is a thought leader in medicine and Trump's support for repealing the Affordable Care Act goes against its core principles supporting science, research and integrity. The Clinic came under fire for holding the event at the Florida resort.

Sheil told HuffPost there were "a variety of reasons" the clinic made a decision to drop Mar-a-Lago, but wouldn't elaborate much further.

Trump Organization representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost's multiple requests for comment.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts confirmed it will host a wine auction at the club on February 1.

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