Merck's Frazier Is Lonely CEO Voice Challenging Trump on Charlottesville

Merck's Frazier Is Lonely CEO Voice Challenging Trump on Charlottesville

Doug McMillon and dozens of other CEO advisers to President Donald Trump were silent on Monday over his lukewarm response to racist violence over the weekend as one executive stepped down from an advisory council to him.

The chief executive officer of multinational pharmaceutical company Merck has resigned from Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, following what he described as the USA president's failure to unequivocally condemn far right violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, West Virginia. "While we would not comment on any member's personal decision, there's no change in Dell engaging with the Trump administration and governments around the world to share our perspective on policy issues that affect our company, our customers and our employees", she said in an email.

Trump's swift response - and his willingness to go after an American CEO but not specifically name white supremacists in Charlottesville - was noted by a number of observers on social media.

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"It took Trump 54 minutes to condemn Merck CEO Ken Frazier, but after several days he still has not condemned murdering white supremacists", said Keith Boykin, a former aide to President Bill Clinton.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier (L) listens to President Donald Trump at a January 2017 meeting.

Trump responded to Saturday's violence in Charlottesville by blaming bigotry on "many sides".

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Trump formed the manufacturing council a week after his inauguration as part of a push to create jobs. Multiple people were injured in that incident and in in running clashes between white supremacists and groups opposing them.

Frazier announced the decision on Monday morning as criticism mounted of Trump's failure over the weekend to explicitly denounce the neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia set off violent clashes that culminated when a man drove his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a young woman and injuring 19. Trump referenced violence "on many sides". Musk also left the manufacturing council. Via Twitter, the CEO of the United States' second-largest drug company resigned from his position on the president's American Manufacturing Council, effective immediately. Trump has in the past caused drug stocks to drop by threatening to bring prices "way down".

Mr. Frazier announced his resignation in a statement Monday, citing Mr. Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests over the weekend.

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Heightened tension is also tied to a USA investigation into links between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian officials. Russian Federation has denied seeking to sway the US election and Trump has denied any collusion.

Wall Street seemed unfazed by Trump's attack.

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