CDC chief resigns amid report detailing tobacco, pharma investments

Feb. 1, 2018

Just one month into her tenure, one of the country’s top public health officials has stepped down.  

On Tuesday, Politico released a report detailing the investments of Brenda Fitzgerald, who was serving as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, Fitzgerald purchased between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of stock in Japan Tobacco in August and just days before touring the CDC’s Tobacco Laboratory, which conducts research into the harmful effects of smoking.

Fitzgerald also bought stocks in several big pharma companies including Merck and Bayer.

The stock holdings have rendered Fitzgerald unable to testify in front of Congress due to conflict-of-interest rules, which has become a point of contention among several lawmakers.  

A day after the Politico report, Fitzgerald announced that she was leaving the post immediately.

Read the full Politico report.