Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville response

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

In brief remarks later the same day, Trump said "many sides" were responsible for the violence, which critics said spared white supremacists and sought to spread the blame to counter-protestors.

Frazier is one of the country's most prominent black corporate executives and was the only black male CEO named to the council in January.

Trump lashed out at Frazier on Twitter, criticizing Merck for what he said were its high drug prices.

On Monday, after 48 hours of mounting pressure from all sides, Mr Trump finally condemned the white supremacists - but the delay sparked the resignation of his business team, and the damage has been significant.

With the barb, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.

Drugmakers have come under closer scrutiny because of rising drug prices, though Merck has not been one of the companies targeted by lawmakers or watchdog groups. Frazier's resignation from the manufacturing council landed early Monday morning.

Sonnenfeld said he received emails from more than a dozen leading CEOs on Monday reacting to Frazier's statement - and especially Trump's broadside.

Meanwhile, other executives stated their support for Frazier.

"As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism". A man allegedly drove a auto into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring many others.

The first to go was Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.

Kevin Plank - Under Armour After Trump's second comment on the events at Charlottesville, Kevin Plank withdrew from the council, saying in a statement that Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum.

The manufacturing council was created shortly after Trump's inauguration as part of a job creation initiative.

"Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs", he said.

"Usually, certain niceties are observed to smooth over a rupture", said Galston, who served as a domestic policy aide in the Clinton administration. And which many among white supremacists and the Alt-Right said was a criticism of the counter-protestors.

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