CDC director resigns over financial conflicts

Nathan Deal, Brenda Fitzgerald
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Brenda Fitzgerald, Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, left, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal respond to questions in Atlanta. Fitzgerald, the new director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has kept a low profile during her five months in office, due to conflicts of interest regarding her financial holdings. In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, Fitzgerald said her conflicts of interest are settled and she’s moving forward with plans for the agency. (AP Photo/David Tulis, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. officials have announced that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resigned because of financial conflicts of interest.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald had been in the job since July.

A statement Wednesday from the Department of Health and Human Services said Fitzgerald’s complex financial interests had caused conflicts of interest that made it difficult to do her job. Alex Azar, who was sworn in as head of the department Monday, accepted her resignation.

When Fitzgerald took the job, she owned a range of stocks, 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.