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CDC director resigns after trading tobacco stocks

Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resigned Wednesday after a news outlet detailed stock trades that appeared to present a conflict of interest. 

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said Fitzgerald, who previously served as Georgia’s top public health official, tendered her resignation after detailing the scope of her financial holdings to health chief Alex Azar. 

“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,” said spokesman Matt Lloyd. 

“Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.” 

The news came less than a day after Politico reported that Fitzgerald purchased tobacco company stock a month after she took the high-profile job, raising conflict-of-interest questions since the CDC is tasked with reducing tobacco use and promoting public health. 

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