Famed Cleveland Clinic facing criticism for gala at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

A worker walks the driveway along Mar-a-Lago,  the club and estate owned by President Donald Trump, located in Palm Springs, Florida.
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A worker walks the driveway along Mar-a-Lago, the club and estate owned by President Donald Trump, located in Palm Springs, Florida.

The Cleveland Clinic, a world recognized top hospital, is facing pressure to move its 2018 winter gala and fundraiser from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

According to Cleveland.com, the hospital has hosted the benefit and gala at Mar-a-Lago for eight years. The hospital received push back for hosting its gala at the estate earlier this year when President Trump's executive order to block entrance of non-citizens from other countries also locked out medical students, physicians and their families.

The 2018 gala is planned to stay at Mar-a-Lago, where the hospital has raised $1 million annually for medical equipment and care for Cleveland Clinic Florida in Broward County. The officials still prefer Trump’s club over other locations.

The Plain Dealer wrote some medical students, doctors and progressive groups are organizing a petition and have circulated a public letter addressing their earlier complaints, calling the Clinic tone deaf and threatening protest.

The tone of complaints are different - last year it was immigration, this year it’s Donald Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to overhaul the American healthcare system and repeal “Obamacare,” or the Affordable Care Act.

The online petition, signed by 1,100 people since July, states holding a fundraiser at the Trump club “is unacceptable because it ... financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to health care and cut billions in research funding from the National Institutes of Health.”

A spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic said donors and hospital officials sought alternative sites, but preferred Mar-a-Lago.

"In no way is this about politics for us," corporate communications director Eileen Sheil told Cleveland.com. "The sole purpose is to raise money."

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