You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Merck’s CEO is not a hero.

Isaac Brekken / Getty Images

Kenneth Frazier has resigned from his position on Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, citing concerns over Trump’s weak response to an act of white supremacist domestic terrorism. In a statement, he asserted that:

America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the ideal that all people are created equal.

For this, he is being lauded for his moral courage:

But Frazier deserves no credit for his decision. He has known for a long time that Donald Trump is a racist and a misogynist; that he employs white nationalists; that he is antagonistic to free speech and that his administration represents a significant threat to American democracy. He chose to serve on this council anyway.

Furthermore, the praise for Frazier obscures the fact that a CEO has class interests in common with a billionaire like Donald Trump. Trump has promised that he’ll be very good for business, and so far it’s one of the few promises he’s been able to keep; his administration has rolled back a number of regulatory functions that kept corporate America in check while protecting workers. Merck, meanwhile, fought Bernie Sanders’s bill to allow Americans to import less expensive drugs from Canada.