CDC Director Resigns, but CDC Conflicts of Interest are Par for the Course

By the World Mercury Project Team

Media outlets are announcing the abrupt resignation of Brenda Fitzgerald, the physician appointed in July, 2017 to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The resignation follows on the heels of reporting by Politico, which uncovered conflicts of interest pertaining to dubious investment decisions made by Fitzgerald after she became the nation’s top public health official—including the purchase of thousands of dollars of tobacco, pharmaceutical and health care stocks. Individuals interviewed by Politicodescribe the trading decisions as “sloppy” and “ridiculous” at best and “legally problematic” at worst.

Most headlines are focusing exclusively on the CDC director’s investments in tobacco companies, which strike observers as hypocritical in light of Fitzgerald’s prioritization of tobacco prevention initiatives while serving as public health commissioner for the state of Georgia prior to joining CDC. However, Fitzgerald’s sizeable investments in the pharmaceutical and chemical giants Merck and Bayer, among others, should


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