Trump rips Merck CEO for leaving American Manufacturing Council

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President Trump ripped Merck (MRK) chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier on Monday after the pharmaceutical executive resigned from the American Manufacturing Council in apparent protest of his administration’s public response to the violent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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“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.

Frazier announced his decision to leave the council on Merck’s official Twitter account. The company did not provide further comment on the decision.

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“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental value by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier said in a statement. “As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Trump drew bipartisan criticism on social media last weekend for failing to condemn the white nationalist groups that marched in Charlottesville by name. A 32-year-old woman was killed and at least 19 were injured during the violent clashes. James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old man from Maumee, Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder after allegedly driving a car through a crowd of protesters.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said during a press conference last Saturday.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was among the public figures to address the rallies on social media.

“We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home,” he said on Twitter. 

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