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CDC director resigns amid concerns about conflicts of interest, tobacco stock purchases

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CDC director resigns amid concerns about conflicts of interest, tobacco stock purchases

The CDC Roybal Campus. Source: CDC.gov
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The CDC Roybal Campus. Source: CDC.gov

The director of the Centers for Disease Control has resigned due to numerous conflicts of interest that prevented her from doing her job effectively, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Brenda Fitzgerald had been under scrutiny this week after Politico reported that she had purchased stock after she became CDC director. Prior to her appointment last year she served as Georgia’s health commissioner.

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “”This morning [Jan. 31] Secretary Azar accepted Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s resignation as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. 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. Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period. After advising Secretary Azar of both the status of the financial interests and the scope of her recusal, Dr. Fitzgerald tendered, and the Secretary accepted, her resignation. The Secretary thanks Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald for her service and wishes her the best in all her endeavors.”

The Washington Post reports that even before the revelations about her purchases of tobacco stock, there were ongoing concerns about Fitzgerald’s conflicts of interest. After taking the job she still invested in cancer detection and health information technology, the Post reported.

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