Trump's CDC director bought tobacco stock after taking over the agency

David Tulis  AP

David Tulis AP

Records show that she sold the tobacco shares on October 26 and all of her holdings above $1,000 by November 21.

One of the stated goals of the CDC is to reduce tobacco use. After advising Azar of the problem, she offered her resignation and he accepted.

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned her post Wednesday over conflicts of interest, including stock purchases she made since joining the agency.

"Buying shares of tobacco companies raises even more flags than Fitzgerald's trading in drug and food companies because it stands in such stark contrast to the CDC's mission to persuade smokers to quit and keep children from becoming addicted", Politico noted.

"It's stunning,"Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told POLITICO".

In a statement to Politico, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledged that Fitzgerald purchased "potentially conflicting" stocks but said that she has now sold them.

Fitzgerald submitted her resignation to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who was sworn in on Monday.

"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", HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Fitzgerald is an obstetrician-gynecologist who served as Georgia's state health commissioner from 2011 to 2017. "These additional purchases did not change the scope of Dr. Fitzgerald's recusal obligations, and Dr. Fitzgerald has since also divested of these newly acquired potentially conflicting publicly traded stock holdings", the spokesperson said.

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