Merck CEO Ditches Trump After Violence in Charlottesville

Merck posted this photo of its CEO, Ken Frazier, on July 28, announcing the pharmaceutical company’s second-quarter financial results. (Merck via CNS)

WASHINGTON (CN) — Under pressure after failing to condemn white supremacists this weekend, Donald Trump suffered another blow Monday morning as the CEO of Merck resigned from a presidential advisory board.

Citing “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said he would no longer serve on the President’s American Manufacturing Council.

Trump lashed out at the news on Twitter, posting that the departure means Frazier “will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Frazier’s resignation comes after a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent on Saturday, with one counterprotester dead and 19 injured.

Trump has drawn criticism for his response to the violence, in which the president blamed bigotry on “many sides” and failed to explicitly condemn the white supremacists.

As tweeted Monday by Merck, Frazier said that the country’s leaders must “honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”

Merck is the nation’s third largest pharmaceutical company. Its shares are trading at $62.88 this morning, a small rise from their closing price Friday.

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