The Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned on Jan. 31, 2018, as a result of reports which began circulating the prior day that she bought and sold shares of a tobacco company after her appointment as CDC Director last summer. She also bought shares of two pharmaceutical companies and a health insurance company as well as having owned shares of other tobacco companies purchased prior to her appointment as CDC Director. In a statement, Alex Azar, the newly appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the resignation of Dr. Fitzgerald citing her “complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all her duties as the CDC director.” There have not been any suggestions in these reports that any of the companies involved did anything inappropriate. Politico was the publication which initially broke this story.

Dr. Fitzgerald had formerly been Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner.

The CDC’s principal Deputy Director, Anne Schuchat, will become the agency’s acting director, according to an HHS spokesman, a post she held for several months last year before Dr. Fitzgerald was appointed by then-HHS Secretary Tom Price.