The Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit medical research and care center, announced on Aug. 17 that it pulled out of a planned fundraiser at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club and resort, making it the third charity to do so that day after the president's response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.
"After careful consideration, Cleveland Clinic has decided that it will not hold a Florida fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in 2018," the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement on Aug. 17, according to Politico. "We thank the staff of Mar-a-Lago for their service over the years."
This is the first time in eight years the Ohio organization will host its annual event elsewhere, The Associated Press reports.
The clinic did not elaborate on its reasoning for changing venues, although a number of those associated with it, including doctors, nurses and medical students, signed a letter urging the organization to sever ties with Trump in light of some of his policies, including medical research budget cuts.
Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove was a member of one of Trump's two business councils that the president dissolved after a number of members quit in light of the Charlottesville aftermath.
The American Friends of Magen David Adom and the American Cancer Society followed suit, announcing on Aug. 17 that their 2018 fundraisers will not be at Trump's Florida resort, notes AP.
"Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community," American Cancer Society spokeswoman Miriam Falco said in statement, according to AP. "It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations."
The three charities made their announcements following what some called Trump's reluctance to speak out against white supremacists in Charlottesville.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," Trump said in a statement on Aug. 12 following the protests, according to CNN. "It has been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America."
Other organizations have moved events away from the club that Trump regularly visits this year, many of them citing the heightened security that held up guests and made them late to the events, The Washington Post noted in a June 23 report.
"We allow for a cocktail hour -- an hour and a half, really [during the silent auction]," said Peter Brock, chairman of the board for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which has hosted a fundraiser at the Mar-a-Lago for eight years. "And we want people to have time to have a couple of glasses of wine, obviously, and try to raise the bids … People didn't have the appropriate amount of time."
Their charity's next fundraiser will be at a neighboring resort.