Tags: cdc | brenda fitzgerald | purchase | tobacco stocks | healthcare stocks | tenure

Politico: CDC Director Purchased Tobacco, Healthcare Stocks During Tenure

Image: Politico: CDC Director Purchased Tobacco, Healthcare Stocks During Tenure
(Brandon Camp/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:19 PM

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald bought tobacco and healthcare stocks while leading the nation's public health agency, according to Politico, purchases that raise a red flag considering the CDC's mission to curb smoking.

Her purchases include between $1,001 and $15,000 of Japan Tobacco, between $1,001 and $15,000 each in Merck & Co., Bayer and Humana, and between $15,001 and $50,000 in U.S. Food Holding Co.

Fitzgerald, a Trump appointee, was already under scrutiny for financial holdings that have prevented her from testifying before Congress on many issues, including the opioid crisis and cancer detection.

"You don't buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC. It's ridiculous, it gives a terrible appearance," Richard Painter, George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer, told Politico.

"It stinks to high heaven," Painter added.

Fitzgerald, the former Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, assumed the CDC leadership on July 7. Her complicated financial portfolio has yet to be cleared up, but her spokesperson told Politico last week she was, "actively working to address recusal obligations as soon as possible related to two financial holdings that, as noted in her ethics agreement, have complex transfer restrictions."

A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the purchase.

"Like all presidential personnel, Dr. Fitzgerald's financial holdings were reviewed by the HHS Ethics Office, and she was instructed to divest of certain holdings that may pose a conflict of interest. During the divestiture process, her financial account manager purchased some potentially conflicting stock holdings. 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."

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CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald bought tobacco and healthcare stocks while leading the nation's public health agency, according to Politico, purchases that raise a red flag considering the CDC's mission to curb smoking.
cdc, brenda fitzgerald, purchase, tobacco stocks, healthcare stocks, tenure
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2018-19-30
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:19 PM
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