Frazier resigned from Trump's manufacturing council and the president disbanded the group and another advisory panel after several CEOs defected over his handling of the neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville.
An LA Times columnist writes, "The question isn't why Merck's boss quit Trump's CEO council; it's why any other CEOs are staying". According to Forbes, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank followed suit, announcing that he will no longer be a part of Trump's American Manufacturing Council.
"We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing,", "However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics".
Trump had previously celebrated the support of the CEO, one of the few African-American chief executives of a Fortune 500 company, in his manufacturing initiative.
Trump had another Twitter outburst over Frazier's decision Tuesday morning, before the new conference, calling executives who quit "grandstanders", while claiming others were eager to sign on.
Shortly after Trump's tweet, Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, became the fourth person to turn away from the White House in the last 24 hours.
Merck is a pharmaceutical giant based in New Jersey known for making Gardasil, the vaccine created to protect against the sexually transmitted infection HPV, and for a drug credited with helping former President Jimmy Carter get cancer-free.
The more than two dozen CEOs who were initially appointed to the council were tapped by Trump shortly after January inauguration with the stated objective of making recommendations to grow the manufacturing sector.
Tesla founder Elon Musk left the manufacturing council and another presidential advisory group in June, citing his disagreement with Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate accord. The CEOs ran for the exits because they are progressive elites and members of the ruling class and were finding out that, unlike former President Obama, White House access did not equate to policy favors.
"As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism", he said in a statement.
In remarks Tuesday in New York City, Trump seemed to defend some people marching with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. "JOBS!" Earlier, Trump tweeted an all-caps jab at Frazier about costly prescription drugs and another griping that Merck is a leader in high prices and in sending jobs overseas.
Frazier rose to prominence at Merck when, as general counsel, he was the architect of the company's legal strategy to aggressively defend itself against lawsuits from people who suffered heart attacks and strokes while taking its Vioxx painkiller.
In a telephone interview, Leslie Brun, the lead director of Merck, defended Frazier's decision and criticized the president for personalizing the disagreement.
Aside from Frazier, another CEO left the council on Monday evening.
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.