Published: Thu, February 01, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Who Is Brenda Fitzgerald? CDC Director Resigns

Who Is Brenda Fitzgerald? CDC Director Resigns

In the latest example of conflicts of interest within the Trump administration, a top public health official purchased shares in a major tobacco company only one month to her job as the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention - an agency dedicated to promoting public health and reducing tobacco use.

HHS released a statement noting the resignation was accepted Wednesday morning.

The department of health cited Dr Fitzgerald's "complex financial arrangements" in a statement.

Fitzgerald's financial conflicts of interest also stem beyond her investment in Big Tobacco. "The Secretary thanks Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald for her service and wishes her the best in all her endeavors".

In addition to the tobacco stock purchase, Fitzgerald invested in at least a dozen other companies between assuming office on July 7 and September, according to the Politico report. "During the divestiture process, her financial account manager purchased some potentially conflicting stock holdings".

Spanish police stops auto with four tonnes of stolen oranges
In a freaky incident, police in Seville, Spain, pulled over two cars filled to the brim with stolen oranges . When police searched the area they discovered a van that also happened to be loaded with the citrus fruit.

HHS said Tuesday that an ethics review when Fitzgerald took over the CDC identified stock holdings that posed conflicts of interest, "and she was instructed to divest" them.

Politico noted that just a day after buying shares in Japan Tobacco, Fitzgerald toured CDC's Tobacco Laboratory, "which researches how the chemicals in tobacco harm human health". Fitzgerald also reportedly purchased stocks ranging from $15,001 to $50,000 in U.S. Food Holding Corporation, a food distributor for restaurant and other institutions connected to the industries like healthcare, hospitality, education and more. Fitzgerald, a medical doctor and former Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, was critized by Senator Patty Murray for not appearing at Congressional hearings. He now serves as president of Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health and consumer safety think tank.

"It is unacceptable that the person responsible for leading our nation´s public health efforts has, for months, been unable to fully engage in the critical work she was appointed to do", Murray said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Health and Human Services Department was rocked previous year after the Trump-appointed head of the organization, Secretary Tom Price, resigned after it was revealed he used taxpayer funds to pay for personal travel.

Like this: