Former Penn State Trustee and Merck CEO Ken Frazier resigned from Donald Trump’s Presidential Manufacturing Council this morning, indirectly citing the president’s lack of a strong denunciation of the hate and violence that broke out in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.
Frazier said in a Tweet that America’s strength and greatness come from the diversity of individuals that make up the country, and it is the responsibility of its leaders — of course including the president, whomever he or she may be — to stand against acts of hate.
“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,” Frazier’s statement reads.
— Merck (@Merck) August 14, 2017
Though Frazier — the only black CEO named to the Manufacturing Council when Trump created it in January — doesn’t explicitly mention Charlottesville, he says he feels “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism. Trump was quick to bash Frazier for his resignation on Twitter, making no comment on the reason why he resigned but instead attacking him personally.
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
Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia, stood up for Frazier on Twitter. Frazier is a Philadelphia native and Penn State alumnus.
— Michael A. Nutter (@Michael_Nutter) August 14, 2017
Frazier’s is most remembered for his time on the Board of Trustees as the chairman of the special task force that commissioned Louis Freeh & Co. to investigate the Sandusky scandal and for defending the report’s merits.