News

CDC director resigns over financial conflicts

Written by Mike Stobbe/The Associated Press | Jan 31, 2018 10:51 AM
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(New York) -- U.S. officials have announced that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resigned because of financial conflicts of interest.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald had been in the job since July.

A statement from the Department of Health and Human Services said Fitzgerald's complex financial interests had caused conflicts of interest that made it difficult to do her job.

"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," wrote Matt Lloyd, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services. "Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period."

Yesterday, a report in Politico detailed documents showing several new investments Fitzgerald made after she took over the agency's top job.

Alex Azar, who was sworn in as head of the department Monday, accepted Fitzgerald's resignation.

When Fitzgerald took the job, she owned a range of stocks, including holdings in beer and soda companies, the tobacco company Philip Morris International, and a number of health care companies.

She said she sold some but still has others because of financial restrictions that prevent her from selling them.

The CDC works to prevent smoking and tobacco-related diseases.

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