Harvard medical students demand cancer center cancel fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago

Harvard Medical School students and physicians are calling on a Boston cancer center to cancel a fundraiser scheduled to be held at President Trump’s club, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida.

In an email, hundreds of students implored the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to relocate the fundraising event in light of Trump’s recent executive order that temporarily prohibits people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., the Boston Globe reported.

The students said the order limits Harvard Medical School’s abilities to care for patients, do research and provide education. The group is asking for the cancer institute to “take some moral leadership on this." The group created a petition that had more than 700 signatures as of Tuesday evening.

“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," the petition reads.

"The advancement of the overall mission of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute cannot come at the expense of the most vulnerable among us," it continues.


Two medical researchers from a Boston-area hospital were allegedly unable to enter the U.S. after the executive order was signed.

The center will not cancel the fundraiser, according to a copy of their response sent to The Hill. Dr. Laurie Glimcher, president of the center, and Josh Bekenstein, chairman of the board, said the center is “solely focused” on cancer research and care, and canceling the event would mean losing “critical funds” to support their work.

“Contracts have been signed, and a large number of people have committed to attend,” their email said. “Cancelling the event outright would only deny much-needed resources and research and care.”

The fundraiser — advertised as an “elegant evening of dinner, excitement and a special performance” — is set for Feb. 18 at Mar-a-Lago.

The Cleveland Clinic is similarly under fire for continuing its plans for a fundraising event at the Palm Beach club while one of its doctors has been banned from entering the U.S. after Trump’s order, Stat News reported

Trump is heading back to Mar-a-Lago this weekend. In the past, the president has referred to his home there as the "Winter White House."

—Updated at 6:40 p.m.