After the announcement that the chairman of Merck would be stepping down from the presidential council, the President responded harshly…
The Chairman and CEO of Merck, a major pharmaceutical company, has resigned from a presidential council in response to President Trump’s remarks about “many sides” being to blame for violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Kenneth Frazier, the African-American CEO of Merck, said he was leaving Trump’s American Manufacturing Council because U.S. leaders must “clearly reject expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”
“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,” Frazier said in a statement. “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. As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he continued.
Trump did not waste any time responding by tweeting, “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 is facing this kind of backlash because he denounced the violence in Charlottesville where one person died and almost twenty more with injured, but did not directly put the blame on a particular group.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides — on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference from his New Jersey golf course.
The White House followed up Trump’s comments with this statement, “The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred,” the White House said on Sunday. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
White House officials like Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have defended Trump’s statement. McMaster said that Trump has been “very clear” in his response and added that the country can’t “tolerate this kind of bigotry.”
Do you think Kenneth Frazier is justified in resigning from his position on the president’s council? What do you think about the way Trump responded?
Credit: The Hill