Trump’s CDC Head Resigns After Trading Tobacco Stocks

Screengrab/Wochit News/YouTube

Brenda Fitzgerald stepped down amid reports that she had purchased stock in tobacco just after taking lead at the CDC.

The Trump administration lost another top official Wednesday with the resignation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald, who was reportedly trading tobacco stocks while leading the agency tasked with regulating tobacco products.

Fitzgerald's departure comes amidst one of the worst flu seasons the U.S. has seen in recent decades.

"This morning Secretary [Alex] Azar accepted Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s resignation as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

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

Reports had emerged just the day before via Politico that Fitzgerald had purchased stock in Japan Tobacco within a month of taking over the agency - an agency in charge of reducing Americans' tobacco use.

The stock was one of about a dozen new investments Fitzgerald made after she took the job, according to Politico.

She also bought stocks in Merck & Co., Bayer and health insurer Humana.