1. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said Fitzgerald, who previously served as Georgia’s top public health official, tendered her resignation after detailing the scope of her financial interests to health chief Alex Azar.

    "Dr. Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC director," spokesman Matt Lloyd said.

    "Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period."

    Fitzgerald bought shares in a tobacco company as part of about a dozen new investments made after she was named director, Politico reported. Richard Painter, who previously served as President George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer, told the news site that the investment was particularly "tone deaf" because of the CDC's stance against tobacco use.

    "You don’t buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC," he said. "It’s ridiculous; it gives a terrible appearance."

    It's not the first time questions have been raised over possible conflicts of interest involving Fitzgerald. She already owned a range of stocks when the Trump administration tapped Fitzgerald to lead the CDC in July 2017, including holdings in beer and soda companies, the tobacco company Philip Morris International, and a number of health care companies. She said she sold some but still has others because of financial restrictions that prevent her from selling them.

    Trained as an obstetrician-gynecologist, she previously served six years as the head of the Georgia Department of Health.

    She succeeded Dr. Anne Schuchat, who became the CDC’s acting director in January 2017 after Dr. Tom Frieden resigned. Her replacement was not immediately named.
  2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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