Donald Trump’s Public Health official Brenda Fitzgerald has drawn criticism after she decided to invest in a tobacco company while heading the federal agency tasked with reducing tobacco usage.
According to a Politico report, Fitzgerald invested tens of thousands of dollars in stock holdings in at least a dozen companies after she had taken the job as Director of the Centers for Disease Control(CDC).
She reportedly bought stocks from Japan Tobacco, which sells four brands in the U.S., just one day after touring the CDC’s Tobacco Laboratory on August 9.
Fitzgerald received harsh criticism from Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for George W. Bush.
“You don’t buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC — it’s ridiculous, it gives a terrible appearance,” Painter said. “It stinks to high heaven.”
Fitzgerald also purchased shares in Merck & Co, US Food Holding Co., Bayer and Humana, according to records obtained under the Stock Act.
She has also been criticized by multiple lawmakers for holding on to some investments after becoming CDC director.