CDC Director Resigns Amid Tobacco Stock Scandal

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald has left the CDC one day after a report that she bought tobacco, pharmaceutical and food stocks…

Brenda Fitzgerald photo

Brenda Fitzgerald/photo by tedxatlanta (CC)

(Daily Mail) America’s top public health official abruptly quit on Wednesday, a day after a report surfaced that she had bought tobacco stocks while leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald had also invested money in food and pharmaceutical companies just one month after taking over the job.

The Health and Human Services Department quickly tapped Anne Schuchat as acting CDC director.

Schuchat had been the principal deputy director, and served a previous months-long term as acting director when the Trump administration began in 2017.


** MORE CDC COVERAGE at Liberty Headlines **

Fitzgerald ‘owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC Director,’ Health and human Services Department spokesman Matt Lloyd acknowledged in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.’

Politico reported on Tuesday that Fitzgerald, formerly commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, purchased shares of Japan Tobacco, Merck, U.S. Food Holding Company and Humana while at CDC…

‘You don’t buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC. It’s ridiculous; it gives a terrible appearance,’ former George W. Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter told Politico.

He said the stock-picking decisions were ‘tone deaf’ from someone leading the U.S. agency responsible for reducing tobacco use nationwide, especially among children…

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