Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., was appointed as the 17th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)  last July– and now just around 6 months later she has resigned.

Brenda FitzgeraldAccording to a statement from HHS Spokesman Matt Lloyd today:

“This morning Secretary Azar accepted Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s resignation as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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. Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.

After advising Secretary Azar of both the status of the financial interests and the scope of her recusal, Dr. Fitzgerald tendered, and the Secretary accepted, her resignation. The Secretary thanks Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald for her service and wishes her the best in all her endeavors.”

Politico reports: Less than 48 hours after being sworn in, Azar accepted the resignation of CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald amid questions about her judgment and conflicts of interest.

Fitzgerald’s purchase of shares in tobacco, drug and food companies while serving as the nation’s top public health official and her inability to divest other holdings kept her from working on key health issues and were exactly the kind of distractions Azar vowed to eliminate.