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Steve Cohen Bonds With Michael Milken Over Veterans

Amanda Gordon
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Steve Cohen Bonds With Michael Milken Over Veterans

(Bloomberg) -- At Daniel Tuesday night, Steve Cohen and Michael Milken connected over their work with veterans during a fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Cohen pledged $275 million in 2016 toward mental health clinics for veterans and their families. Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation has put more than $50 million into a program treating veterans at places like the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the University of California, San Francisco.

The idea is to provide quality health care to a population that faces barriers accessing it, including financial.

“Cancer does not know what your net worth is,” Milken said as David Geffen approached in the foyer of the Upper East Side restaurant.

“Veterans have sacrificed for us and we owe them a debt of gratitude,” Cohen said in a statement after the event. “The precision medicine Mike is bringing to veterans through genetic sequencing and precision oncology care is heroic and will save veterans’ lives.”

As for gathering a high-net-worth crowd in a high-net-worth style that included a very private concert by Jamie Foxx, Milken had that covered. John Paulson, Donald Mullen, Justin Slatky and Glenn Fuhrman enjoyed a four-course meal of hamachi sashimi, risotto with white truffles, grilled swordfish with butternut squash, and chestnut cream.

The squash in particular seemed to anticipate next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Milken said it’s the one time a year he has string bean casserole. Mullen said he’ll be savoring buttery sweet potatoes -- and a turkey and stuffing sandwich with Miracle Whip the day after.

But other ideas for healthy foods to put on the table were found in “The PCF Times,” a newspaper produced by the cancer foundation and left at every guest’s seat. The suggestions found on the front page included fresh basil, squash blossoms, lemons, garlic and cucumbers.

Milken declined to speak about his investments in opportunity zones but did offer a perspective on the supposed advantages of the wealthy.

“There’s an assumption that because you have money, you get better treatment, but often you don’t,” said Milken, who has a net worth of $3.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “People want to try things on you if you’re a potential donor, and those things don’t always work."

(Updates with comment from Cohen in fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Steven Crabill

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