Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, has resigned from her post after an investigation revealed that she bought and sold stock in tobacco companies while serving as a top Trump administration health official.
“Dr. Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her to complete all of her duties as the CDC director,” the CDC wrote in a prepared statement. “Due to the nature of these financial instruments, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.”
Politico reported on Tuesday that Fitzgerald invested in the stock of a major tobacco company shortly after she took over as head of the CDC last year.
“Buying shares of tobacco companies raises even more flags than Fitzgerald’s trading in drug and food companies because it stands in such stark contrast to the CDC’s mission to persuade smokers to quit and keep children from becoming addicted,” Politico noted.
In addition to buying tobacco stocks, Fitzgerald also bought shares from pharmaceutical companies Merck and Bayer, as well as health insurance company Humana.
Prior to joining the Trump administration, Fitzgerald served as Georgia’s Public Health Commissioner from 2011 until 2017.