President Donald Trump's top public health official resigned Wednesday amid mounting questions about financial conflicts of interest. Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald's resignation comes one day after POLITICO reported that one month into her tenure as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she bought shares in a tobacco company. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, and preventing it is an issue Fitzgerald had long championed.
According to Politico's investigation: 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. Critics say her trading behavior broke with ethical norms for public health officials and was, at best, sloppy. At worst, they say, it was legally problematic if she didn't recuse herself from government activities that could have affected her investments.
"You don't buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC. It's ridiculous; it gives a terrible appearance," said Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007. He described the move as "tone deaf," given the CDC's role in leading anti-smoking efforts.
One of the Trump administration's top public health-officials resigned on Wednesday amid an uproar over her investments in tobacco, the nation's leading cause of preventable death. The exit of Brenda Fitzgerald as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is another black eye for the U.S. Health Department, which last year saw the departure of then-Health Secretary Tom Price after it was revealed that he had traveled extensively on private jets at taxpayer expense.
The orange child rapist sure knows how to pick them.
Trump sure loves his swampy picks.
It's almost like he doesn't know anyone who isn't corrupt.
Good job GOP voters.
Some TV sitcoms aren't funny because they're simply too outrageous to be believed.
"America Under Trump" is one such show. I mean, the writers are just over the top! The anti-tobacco agency head buying tobacco stock after taking office? No way would that ever happen.
The studio audience seems to love it, though.
I think it just may be pheromones that we're seeing at work. that would offer sort of an explanation as to how these civic sociopaths look for and find each other. I think trump is almost at 100% when it comes to appointing thieves, liars or simply un-qualified
Another candidate for the AG job. Sessions doesn't smoke, so he is out of step with modern GOP fundraising.
-- Repub corporate masters
We don't need no stinking ETHICS!
This is the New American Moment!
Trump has reduced our need for ETHICS more than any President ever!
For every new ETHIC we will to get rid of two!
No regulations and no ethics = PROFIT!
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