Cleveland Clinic cancels fundraiser at Trump resort

The Cleveland Clinic is abandoning plans to hold a gala fundraiser next year at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Toby Cosgrove, the hospital group's CEO, was among the executives on the White House business councils that imploded this week after Trump blamed both sides for the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

It will be the first time in eight years that the Cleveland Clinic has not held the fundraiser at the Trump resort.

"We thank the staff of Mar-a-Lago for their service over the years," the hospital group said in a statement. It did not give a reason. The announcement was reported earlier Thursday by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mar-a-Lago declined comment.

The hospital group is based in Cleveland, but it has a health center in South Florida. Proceeds from previous Mar-a-Lago galas balls have helped pay for medical equipment, nursing education and wheelchairs, according to the organization's website.

A spokeswoman said the event raises about $1 million each year on average. She said the Cleveland Clinic has not yet decided on a date or new location for the 2018 gala. The 2017 gala was in February.

The clinic had received criticism for hosting the annual event at Mar-a-Lago. Earlier this year, protesters organized outside the Cleveland center to pressure the hospital to cancel the event, according to local media reports.

And in July, nearly 1,700 people -- including doctors and medical students -- signed an open letter asking the clinic to hold the fundraiser somewhere else.

Holding the fundraiser there "symbolically and financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to healthcare and cut billions of dollars in research funding from the National Institutes of Health budget," read the letter, which was posted on Medium.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.