Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, resigned Wednesday over conflicts of interest related to her purchase of tobacco company stocks as well as shares in pharmaceutical manufacturers — stocks she purchased after taking office, according to CNN, Politico and other media outlets.
“Such an investment is obviously at odds with the mission of the CDC,” CNN reported.
According to [a Politico] report, Fitzgerald “bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at least a dozen companies,” including Japan Tobacco, one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. The day after the purchase, Fitzgerald “toured the CDC’s Tobacco Laboratory, which researches how the chemicals in tobacco harm human health,” according to Politico.
Fitzgerald also invested in pharmaceutical companies Merck and Bayer, as well as health insurance company Humana, according to Politico.