President Donald Trump slammed Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier in a tweet after he resigned from a presidential council in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville rally
Donald Trump is lashing out at an African-American pharma mogul who resigned from the president’s manufacturing council to protest Trump’s response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Trump tweeted on Monday.
The message came just hours after Merck CEO Frazier announced his resignation from the American Manufacturing Council in a statement, noting that he was taking “a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” he said in the statement.
On Saturday, a pre-planned “Unite the Right” rally erupted into violence as the white supremacist protesters clashed with counter-protesters who were demonstrating against the event. A 20-year-old man identified as James Alex Fields Jr. is accused of ramming his car into a group of protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
In the wake of the incident, Trump spoke out against the violence but did not explicitly lay blame on the white supremacists, instead insisting that “bigotry and hatred” was coming from “many sides.”
The response has sparked backlash, as critics (and even some Trump supporters) have said the embattled president didn’t go far enough to condemn white nationalists.
Now, Frazier is the latest in a long line of executives who have stepped down from a number of the president’s advisory councils.
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Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger resigned in June, Reuters reports. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left one of Trump’s business advisory councils in February.
Frazier’s resignation may come as a blow to Trump’s administration, as the businessman runs one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
Frazier is one of only a few African-American CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, according to the magazine.