On Jan. 31, 2018, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned amid questions surrounding financial conflicts of interest. Fitzgerald’s resignation came just one day after reports surfaced that she had bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her tenure as CDC Director. She also purchased tens of thousands of dollars in new stock in health insurance, pharmaceutical, and food companies after taking the CDC’s top post. These purchases solicited criticism from public health experts who argued Fitzgerald’s actions went against the CDC’s mission.
Fitzgerald, an obstetrician/gynecologist from Georgia, was selected for the position in July 2017 by former Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price. She had already come under congressional scrutiny for not divesting from older holdings that government officials said posed potential conflicts of interest and prevented her from testifying before Congress. As of this writing, an acting CDC Director had not yet been named.
Impact on General Dentistry: The White House has not officially commented on potential candidates for the CDC Director position. The AGD will continue to monitor and report on any developments as they are announced.