On Jan. 31 Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned from her position as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reports revealed that she had purchased stock in tobacco companies just one month after assuming her position at the agency in July 2017.
According to a Politico report, Dr. Fitzgerald’s investments in the tobacco industry equate to tens of thousands of dollars spread across 12 or more companies. Fitzgerald’s stock portfolio also features other potential conflicts due to her shares in health and medical companies such as Merck, Bayer and Humana.
A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) statement said, “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.”
Dr. Fitzgerald’s resignation was accepted by newly confirmed HHS Secretary Alex Azar, who now will need to identify her successor.
For a further discussion on government agencies with jurisdiction over health policy, please contact AASM advocacy staff at (630) 737-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.