Trump blasts drug CEO who quit council over Charlottesville rally
The head of US drugmaker Merck resigned Monday from a manufacturing advisory council to the Trump administration citing “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism” – and was promptly lambasted by the president on Twitter.
“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,” Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier tweeted Monday.
“As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he said in the statement.
President Trump lashed back almost immediately about the African-American head of the nation’s third-largest pharmaceutical company.
“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” he railed.
Frazier’s resignation comes shortly after a violent confrontation between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead and 19 other people injured.
Trump has been assailed for his tepid response and not explicitly condemning the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville.