Privately, many chief executives say they are fuming, outraged by the president. (This after many of them campaigned to get on Mr. Trump’s committees.) But many are too scared to say anything publicly that could make them or their company a target of Mr. Trump’s wrath.
Indeed, Mr. Trump’s vitriol against Mr. Frazier and Merck — a company that depends on the government as a buyer for many of its drugs — will perhaps have an even greater chilling effect on other C.E.O.s who may consider speaking out. (The potential for economic retribution against Merck also demonstrates just how brave Mr. Frazier was in taking a stand.)
When I asked one chief executive Monday morning why he had remained publicly silent, he told me: “Just look at what he did to Ken. I’m not sticking my head up.” Which, of course, is the reason he said I could not quote him by name.