Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tendered her resignation Wednesday following a bombshell report that she bought thousands of dollars in shares in one of the world's largest tobacco companies less than a month after being named as the nation's top health official. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who was sworn in two days ago, accepted Fitzgerald's resignation because she was unable to divest from those interests "in a definitive time period." The current principal deputy CDC director, Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat, will serve as interim director until a replacement for Fitzgerald is named, according to HHS. Fitzgerald, an OB-GYN doctor and former Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner, also owned stock in other tobacco companies prior to assuming her role at the CDC in July.
News of Fitzgerald's questionable financial holdings were first reported Tuesday by Politico, which said she "bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at least a dozen companies" including Japan Tobacco.
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