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Four CEOs have abandoned their posts on President Donald Trump's advisory panels, but Alex Gorsky is staying put.
The Johnson & Johnson CEO said Tuesday that he will remain part of Trump's American Manufacturing Council not to "support any specific political agenda," but so that the company can continue to advise on health-care matters.
"If we aren't in the room advocating for global health as a top priority, if we aren't there standing up for our belief in diversity and inclusion, or if we fail to speak out when the situation demands it, then we have abdicated our Credo responsibility," he said in a statement. "Ours is an important voice on healthcare, one that global leaders at every level, in and out of government, need to hear."
Since Monday, four members of Trump's advisory panels have stepped down from their roles in protest of the president's response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Merck's Ken Frazier did so on Monday morning, followed by Under Armour's Kevin Plank and Intel's Brian Krzanich. On Tuesday, Scott Paul, head of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, also on Trump's manufacturing council, stepped down.
"Several members have made the decision to leave President Trump's White House Manufacturing Advisory Council, and I respect their decision as a matter of personal conscience," Gorsky said.
The executive condemned racism, intolerance and violence in his statement, but said that the company "has a responsibility to remain engaged."
Trump has been harsh on the advisers who have left his councils, calling them "grandstanders."
On Monday, the president responded to Merck CEO Frazier's decision to leave the council by saying that Frazier will now have more time to "LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"