Healthcare

CDC director bought tobacco stock while in office

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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Brenda Fitzgerald, bought tobacco stock while in office, Politico reported Tuesday.

The purchase poses a serious risk of conflict of interest given that the CDC helps lead efforts to prevent smoking.

A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson confirmed the “potentially conflicting” purchase to The Hill, saying they were handled by her financial manager and she later sold the stock.

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The stock purchase was between $1,001 and $15,000 in Japan Tobacco, Politico reported.

She also reportedly bought stock in a range of health-care companies, including Humana and Merck.

Conflicts of interest due to Fitzgerald’s holdings have prevented her from testifying to Congress multiple times since she assumed office in July.

Fitzgerald is the former commissioner of Georgia’s public health department and was appointed by former HHS Secretary Tom Price to lead the CDC.

Price later resigned amid controversy over his use of private jets for official travel.

Updated: 7:08 p.m. 

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