Cleveland Clinic, CEO of Mayo Clinic issue statements on Trump's travel ban

John Noseworthy, MD, president and CEO of Rochester, Min.-based Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic issued statements over the weekend on an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, which places strong restrictions on travel and immigration to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority nations.

President Trump's order, which he signed Friday, temporarily bans travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. In practice, this has prohibited even legal U.S. residents from re-entry into the country, including many scientists and physicians. The rule also suspends the entire U.S. refugee admissions system for 120 days and the Syrian refugee program indefinitely, according to The Guardian.

Dr. Noseworthy on Sunday issued the following statement: "Although questions remain about the order's implementation, Mayo Clinic remains steadfast in supporting our patients, staff, families and community. Each year, we welcome thousands of visitors from across the globe, many of whom receive care from our incredibly talented and diverse team members. We value our international staff and partners, and are privileged to train a broad range of medical personnel from around the world. Mayo Clinic is a place of compassion, respect and trust, and our collective diversity helps make us the best place to work and receive care. We are actively monitoring the situation, exploring ways to ensure that the needs of our patients and staff are met, and will share new information as it becomes available."

Cleveland Clinic posted the following statement on its website: "Recent immigration action taken by the White House has caused a great deal of uncertainty and has impacted some of our employees who are traveling overseas. We deeply care about all of our employees and are fully committed to the safe return of those who have been affected by this action."

Suha Abushamma, MD, a medical intern at Cleveland Clinic, was detained upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday morning, then sent back to her point of origin in Saudi Arabia 20 minutes before a federal judge issued a temporary injunction that blocked the deportation of travelers detained at airports. Cleveland Clinic also published a statement from Dr. Abushamma: "I want to personally thank everyone for their support and well wishes. Although this has been a difficult experience, I am grateful to be safe with my family in Saudi Arabia. Please know that I am deeply committed to my medical career and to helping patients at Cleveland Clinic."

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