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The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which has faced strong criticism for its decision to hold a fundraiser this month at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, said Thursday that it would avoid “controversial venues” in the future.

The hospital’s chief executive, Dr. Laurie Glimcher, said in a statement that its upcoming event, scheduled for Feb. 18, had become a “lightning rod” for some.

“In the future we will avoid controversial venues that may distract from our focus on cancer care and research,” Glimcher said, adding that this year’s event would go on.


The announcement from the Boston hospital could increase pressure on other clinics and charities that have faced calls to cancel events at Mar-a-Lago.

Among them is the Cleveland Clinic, which had one of its staff doctors barred from entering the United States after President Trump’s executive order on immigration.


Dana-Farber has held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago every year since 2011, and once in 2008. It expects 350 people to attend this year’s event, and raise about $1,400,000, according to a permit filed with the town of Palm Beach, Fla.

Palm Beach fundraisers for hospitals are nothing new, but this year’s galas have generated more discord because of what many see as a disconnect between the hospitals’ missions and the impacts of President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Hundreds of medical students and faculty members signed a petition urging Dana-Farber to move this year’s fundraiser for that reason. “The executive order is a direct threat to the health and well-being of thousands of refugees worldwide who are fleeing violence and persecution by denying them consideration for refugee status in the United States,” it reads. The activists will also hold a demonstration on Saturday at Harvard Medical School.

  • Disgusted and disappointed that Dana Farber would support Trump having their event at his club year after year. There are other large venues, i.e. The Flagler Museum, where they could host their guests in Palm Beach. In the meantime, there are plenty of other cancer research centers that we can donate to.

  • So sad the depths the left will sink too. Dana Farber performs such great work. Blame this one squarely on the main stream media. They have put so much untrue negative press out there about Trump and the loony left
    buys it. This is a good cause and you want to put a chill on it because you don’t like Trump? Guess who loses in that case? Here’s an idea lefties. Instead of complaining about the event, and tying it to your Trump hatred, shut up and pony up. Dana Farber is a great cause.

    • The “looney left” make up the majority of researchers dedicated to this cause. These DFCI scientists rely on more than $94M a year in NIH funding, much of which will be impacted by this administration.

  • Has anyone bothered to think about the ramifications on the hotel employees? There won’t be any significant impact on Trump but it will hurt those who the students are supposedly “protesting” for: housekeepers, banquet servers, bellmen, etc…these positions are entry-level, no special skills required and help many under-represented minorities AND immigrants get a foothold in the job market. Pull out the business in the hotel(s) and these employees will lose wages and possibly their positions, depending on how far the “boycott” extends.

    • If events move from one venue to another, hotel staff at the other venue will work. Someone somewhere will host fundraisers that leave Trump venues and they will pay housekeepers, banquet servers, bellmen, etc.

    • BWH receives annually over 94 million in NIH funding. Healthcare is politics. Especially when you have a President who suggests we should create a new vaccine commission to be led by a conspiracy theorist (Robert Kennedy) AND selects a Secretary of Health and Human Services (Tom Price) who: opposes the ACA as well as Biden’s Moonshot initiative (which hopes to double the pace of cancer research over the next decade). He voted against allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco. He opposes embryonic stem cell research. He voted against a bill that would’ve provided $8.75 billion in mandatory funding to the NIH. Tom Price now overseas a budget of $1 trillion, including the NIH, the CDC and the FDA. He will have considerable influence on cancer research.

  • What did they net? 1 million? Is it really worth that level of physician and employee dissatisfaction as well as bad branding/PR? I’m sure if they had cancelled it they could have raised that amount in thank you donations! Bad judgment, big time especially being a Boston based hospital. Disgusted.

  • Not a Trump supporter but is this what you meant to print as a related article headline?

    Read more from STAT & other publishers
    With a doctor ensnared in the immigration ban, Cleveland Clinic is still planning fundraiser at The Toupee of Doom resort

  • Who are the knuckleheads who make these decisions. The name of Trump, the greatest flim-flam man in history, associated with a charitable endeavour disqualifies it from my philanthropic plans.

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