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CDC head resigns amid financial conflicts

by Evan Wilt
Posted 1/31/18, 11:47 am

WASHINGTON— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned Wednesday after a report noted that she traded tobacco stock while leading the department. “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,” Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman Matt Lloyd said. “Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.” The resignation came one day after Politico reported Fitzgerald purchased multiple shares of tobacco stock last year shortly after she assumed leadership of the CDC. The agency strives to reduce tobacco use as it is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Fitzgerald drew fire from Democrats last month for not divesting other financial holdings in prescription drug companies while the CDC fights the opioid epidemic. Former HHS Secretary Tom Price appointed Fitzgerald in July. Newly confirmed HHS Secretary Alex Azar accepted Fitzgerald’s resignation Wednesday morning.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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