The Washington Post details the back and forth between Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck, and President Trump following this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. After President Trump made a statement on the violence in Charlottesville that omitted specific condemnation for white supremacists, Frazier released a statement through Merck’s twitter on Monday morning resigning from the President’s American Manufacturing Council. Frazier said “[o]ur country’s strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs . . . as CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Frazier is one of the few African American CEOs in the Fortune 500. President Trump responded quickly to Frazier’s statement by tweeting out “[n]ow that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” A spokesman for Merck said neither the company nor Frazier had any additional response to the President’s tweet.
President Trump made lowering drug prices a key campaign promise during his run to the presidency. The President has previously accused the pharmaceutical industry of “getting away with murder” and has said he will take actions to lower drug prices such as allowing the government to bid on drugs through the Medicare program. However, as of yet, the President has not taken any such action and many leaders in the pharmaceutical industry feel the government will not take an actions that will harm their business
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