- - Monday, May 8, 2017

Celebrities attending the 24th annual Race to Erase MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Beverly Hills gala Friday expressed immense worry over President Trump’s new health care bill.

“The truth is, the House votes have scared the hell out of everybody — or any thinking, rational person,” comedian Kathy Griffin, who delivered the evening’s opening remarks, told The Washington Times of last week’s vote to repeal Obamacare.

Race to Erase MS has been instrumental in funding pilot studies that have contributed to drugs now on the market and to other therapies that are improving the lives of people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

“This is a room which probably has a lot of Trump voters who are not my demo, if you know what I’m saying,” Miss Griffin said during the event. “But the good thing is everyone understands illness. Everyone has been touched by it.

“If I can get a bunch of rich people to shake up their purses and donate, then that will make a difference. Because the government doesn’t want to fund programs anymore, and that’s what rich people should do.”

Other celebrities attending the event were equally worried about Mr. Trump’s proposed changes to America’s health care system.

“It just seems like this administration is hell-bent on reversing everything Obama wanted to do, just for spite,” said actress Marg Helgenberger (“CSI,” “Under the Dome”). “It’s really discouraging and disheartening.”

Miss Helgenberger noted a close friend of hers with cancer who will need coverage for treatments.

“I am terrified for her, as I am for millions of Americans,” she said.

Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Switched at Birth”) was incensed that even rape could be considered a preexisting condition under the changes, which she called “barbaric.” However, Miss Thompson was heartened that Erase MS founder Nancy Davis, who herself suffers from MS, is putting both her time and considerable fortune into eradicating the disease.

“The Davis family [is] definitely the 0.1 per cent, [but] they are putting their money where their mouth is and helping the less fortunate,” Miss Thompson said.

Now that actor David Faustino (Netflix’s “How to Train Your Own Dragon,” “Married With Children”) has a daughter, he is even more worried about what the Trump administration is doing, especially when it comes to the environment.

“What greatly worries me is Trump’s cutting of every initiative that was put in place. That is terrifying,” he said. “We are supposed to be leaders of the world, and the fact that we are rolling back restrictions and [using] more fossil fuels is crazy.”

Still, renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger has faith that things can still work out.

“As Americans, we have plenty of cash and, more importantly, lots of heart to make sure everybody gets what they need to the best of their abilities,” Mr. Hilfiger said.

“I am never worried about America. We have been here several hundred years, and we are the best country on planet earth.”

The event raised $1.6 million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together with the goal of treating and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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