Another blow to Trump, CDC chief resigns over stock scandal

Cigarettes are shown in an ash try in this file

The director of the Centers for Disease Control has resigned due to numerous conflicts of interest that prevented her from doing her job effectively, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Brenda Fitzgerald "owns certain complex financial interests" that complicated her work as CDC director, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman Matt Lloyd said in a statement. "The Secretary thanks Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald for her service and wishes her the best in all her endeavors", Lloyd added.

Fitzgerald had already drawn Congressional ire for not divesting financial ties to other companies representing potential conflicts of interest.

President Trump's director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resigned Wednesday after a report that she was trading in tobacco company investments.

This made Fitzgerald's appointment unfeasible, Murray argued in December, since these arenas overlapped with "two of the most pervasive and urgent health challenges we face as a country". "I've done everything the ethics office said that I should do", Fitzgerald told The Post. Specifically in Japan Tobacco, with investments ranging from $1,001 to $15,000.

Murray said she hoped Azar would encourage the president to choose a new director "who is truly prepared to focus on families and communities".

Fitzgerald also invested in pharmaceutical companies Merck and Bayer, as well as health insurance company Humana, according to Politico.

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Earlier in her career, Fitzgerald served as a health care policy adviser to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Sen.

She toured the CDC's Tobacco Laboratory on August 9, one day after purchasing shares in the Japanese company.

Fitzgerald sold her shares of tobacco stock on October 26, and all of her stock holdings worth more than $1,000 by November 21, according to the article.

Peter Lurie is the former associate commissioner for public health strategy at the Food and Drug Administration.

Fitzgerald is the second high-ranking health official under the Trump administration to resign over ethical questions raised by a POLITICO story.

Murray said at the time that Fitzgerald's ethics agreement, dated September 7, 2017, indicated she had kept investments that required her to recuse herself from issues related to cancer and the prescription drug monitoring programs, used to track and monitor opioids.

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