The CEO of the nation’s third largest pharmaceutical company resigned from a manufacturing council that advises President Donald Trump days after racially tinged clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Trump tweeted almost immediately Monday at Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier on Twitter.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
Drugmakers have come under closer scrutiny because of rising drug prices, though Merck has not been one of the companies targeted by lawmakers or watchdog groups.
Frazier, who is African American, said in a tweet on Monday that the country’s leaders must “honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”
One person was killed in the protests after a car slammed into a crowd and multiple people were injured in that incident and in running clashes between white supremacists and those opposing them.
Frazier is not the first executive to resign from advisory councils serving Trump.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned from a White House advisory council for the same reason.
The manufacturing jobs council had 28 members initially, but it has shrunk since it was formed earlier this year as executives retire, are replaced, or, as with Frazier, Musk and Iger, resign.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.