Organizations Cancel Events At Trump-Owned Venues

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Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society have declared they are no longer holding fundraising events at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by President Donald Trump.

The announcements come in the wake of Trump's comments on Aug. 15 that counter-protesters were no less to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, than white supremacists and neo-Nazis, Politico reported.

The hospital network did not say why it was cancelling its event.

"After careful consideration, Cleveland Clinic has decided that it will not hold a Florida fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in 2018," a statement said. "We thank the staff of Mar-a-Lago for their service over the years."

Cleveland Clinic made its decision following a letter signed by 1,700 medical students, doctors, nurses and others appealing for it to stop using Trump-owned venues. Such a choice "symbolically and financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to health care and cut billions of dollars in research funding," the letter argued, according to Bloomberg.

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The American Cancer Society withdrew its intention to hold the "Island of Palm Beach" event at the same venue.

"Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community," the organization stated, according to Politico. "It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations."

Trump's remarks prompted business executives to distance themselves from his administration. The president decided to dissolve two advisory panels Aug. 16 after several business leaders said they would step down.

Carlos Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary under President George W. Bush, said Trump's brand has become too toxic.

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"There's always the risk that CEOs will not have their brand associated with administration initiatives, which is extremely dangerous for the president's agenda," added Gutierrez, according to Bloomberg. "The president will need the business community but the business community would rather stay out of the White House."

Strategists and experts told Bloomberg the failure of Congress to pass important legislation and the perceived chaos in the White House is leading businesses to question their ties with the Republican Party.

"Standing with Trump at this moment, after his bizarre comments, is just too costly for corporations," said Graham Wilson of Boston University. "This signal from corporate America could also have a broader impact on public opinion and the loyalty of core Republicans to Trump."

Wilson suggested that some Republicans who had been tolerating Trump could now decide to break with his presidency.

Sources: Politico, Bloomberg / Featured Image: Wally Gobetz/Flickr / Embedded Images: Emilio Labrador/Wikimedia Commons, repmobrooks/Wikimedia Commons

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