More than 1,100 doctors, nurses and medical students are urging the Cleveland Clinic to cancel an annual fundraiser planned at a resort owned by President Donald Trump in the wake of his executive order on immigration.
Over the last three days, 1,141 medical professionals have signed an open letter to Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove asking him to cut the perceived ties to Trump in light of the executive order that led to a first-year internal medicine resident at the organization being detained and forced to return to Saudi Arabia because her visa was issued in Sudan, one of the countries on Trump’s list
Suha Abushamma, M.D., has sued the Trump administration, CNBC reports, and a federal judge has ordered the White House to explain why she shouldn’t be allowed to return to the United States.
The ban also had a direct impact on nine patients scheduled to receive care at the Cleveland Clinic over the next 90 days.
Many of the medical professionals who signed the letter are students at Case Western Reserve University, which runs the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
The letter asks Cosgrove to:
- Reschedule the lavish fundraiser planned at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida
- Release a public statement that condemns the immigration ban
- Pledge to use his power to protect Cleveland Clinic employees from deportation and allow patients to continue to receive care
- Emphasize that Cleveland Clinic values diversity and relies on immigrants to provide medical care
The letter states that by holding the annual fundraiser at Trump’s property, Cosgrove is supporting Trump, who has taken actions in his first days of office that directly harm health and well-being in the United States and abroad.
“Your willingness to hold your fundraiser at a Trump resort is an unconscionable prioritization of profit over people. It is impossible for the Cleveland Clinic to reconcile supporting its employees and patients while simultaneously financially and publicly aiding an individual who directly harms them,” the letter states.
But so far it doesn’t appear that the Cleveland Clinic has any intention of moving the fundraiser that aims to raise money for cardiovascular medicine. Hospital spokeswoman Eileen Sheil told STAT that the event has been held at Mar-a-Lago for several years and this year’s fundraiser was planned months ago.
Cosgrove, who was originally on Trump’s list of candidates for secretary of Veterans Affairs, is supposed to meet with Trump today as a member of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which was formed in December, to advise the president on how the country can stimulate economic growth, boost employment and expand technology, according to Cleveland.com.