The director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Brenda Fitzgerald just took “conflict of interest” to a whole new level.
The Trump Administration-appointee, who took office in July 2017, bought tobacco stock while holding her office, a big old “no no.” That’s because she heads up an establishment that works expressly to combat the negative effects of the tobacco industry on Americans’ health. One of the CDC’s biggest initiatives is its effort to prevent smoking.
Fitzgerald has had these kinds of conflicts of interest in the past and has been prevented from testifying before congress numerous times in her short tenure because of it. She’s also purchased stock in healthcare companies like Humana and Merck.
It may surprise no one that Fitzgerald was originally appointed by disgraced HHS director, Tom Price.
Price was forced to resign after revelations that he’d been improperly using private jets for official travel.
Tom Price is the only Trump appointee to actually resign over conflicts of interest, but not the only one to be accused. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has some questionable holdings with a Montana gun company, among other nefarious dealings. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin is awash in conflicts of interest as well, though he sold off many of his more questionable holdings to the tune of $15 million before taking his office.
So this isn’t exactly a new form of corruption in the Trump Administration, just more business as usual, to the detriment of the American people.