Merck CEO Steps Down After Trump Did Not Condemn Charlottesville Incident

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Grandstanders should not have gone on.

President Donald Trump is back in the NY skyscraper that bears his name as the furor over his reaction to race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend shows few signs of dying down.Protesters on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue tried to spoil Trump's homecoming Monday night with signs bearing messages like "stop the hate, stop the lies" and chanting "shame, shame, shame" and "not my president!" Plank stated that he is quitting because his athletic wear company engages in innovation and sports and not politics.

In the days following the racially charged violence in Virginia, where white supremacists marched with swastikas and a young woman was run down by an alleged Nazi sympathiser, alarmed executives began reaching out to Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire leader of the Blackstone Group LP and a key figure in President Donald Trump's business brain trust. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

During the presidential campaign, Trumka called Trump "anti-American" and "a bigot".

Very soon after, the CEO of The AFL-CIO, a labor unions representing 12.5 million workers, announced his resignation from the council.

"I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing", Krzanich wrote.

CEOs of major US corporations continue to jump ship from President Trump's Manufacturing Council in response to the president's rather belated and lackluster prepared response to the turmoil in Charlottesville that led to the death of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer, age 32, and the injury of 20 others by James Alex Fields Jr.

The head of pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc, Kenneth Frazier, quit the president's American Manufacturing Council in protest on Monday.

Business Insider just published a list also, including any comments they've made supporting their decision to remain.

Frazier is not the first executive to resign from advisory councils serving Trump.

In remarks Tuesday in New York City, Trump seemed to defend some people marching with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

Another CEO says involvement on these councils should not hinge on the behavior of one person.

At the same time, CEOs have become frustrated with Trump's inability to get his tax, infrastructure, health care or deregulation plans through Congress.

Having such high profile litigation experience, Frazier must have come across media stories that twisted the facts to make a point against a greedy drug company that promoted and sold a risky drug.

In January, Merck reported that its average net prices - the amount the company receives after discounts and other rebates - increased in the years since 2010 in a range between 3.4 percent and 6.2 percent.

Merck's Frazier, who is black, did not name Trump or criticise him directly in a statement posted on the drug company's Twitter account, but the rebuke was implicit.

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