A woman resigned from her work, but this particular resignation was not typical. She was someone the world looks unto her agency to control and prevent diseases. Brenda Fitzgerald was the director of one of the most important agencies in the world: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly every country derives its disease control and prevention frameworks from this U.S. entity.
But Brenda was a worker. Yes, just a worker – the people that go to work and leave values at home. All they care for is put 40 hours per week and wait for the glory in the bank account. Brenda bought stocks of tobacco companies. The woman whose main job was to battle tobacco was funding Tobacco.
Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), resigned abruptly today. She stepped down on the heels of a report from Politico that she had purchased stock in a large tobacco company 1 month into her tenure leading the nation’s top public health agency, which devotes itself to persuading smokers to quit and warning kids not to take up the habit.
“On August 9, one day after purchasing [between $1000 and $15,000 of] stock in global giant Japan Tobacco, she toured the CDC’s Tobacco Laboratory, which researches how the chemicals in tobacco harm human health,” Politico reported.
The purchase preceded Fitzgerald’s 7 September 2017 signing of an ethics agreement promising to recuse herself from any activity that could pose a financial conflict, Politico reported. Fitzgerald, a former commissioner of public health in Georgia who took the reins at CDC’s Atlanta headquarters last July, did not sell the tobacco stock until 26 October 2017
I see her action as extremely repulsive not just for buying tobacco but even thinking that such could be normal. Thousands of CDC staff work daily to eliminate tobacco products in cities and communities, and yet we had someone as head of CDC so disconnected that she found favor with Tobacco. Her actions were unbelievably shameful. The good news is that she is gone, to possibly continue parking Tobacco. Yes, to make money. But thank Politico that she would not be near where decisions affecting the health of millions would be made.
From politics to healthcare administration, we have people like Brenda. They are workers, only connected to work, just for the money. They have no core values. They are paid to fight death but in the night they produce weapons for warfare. They see numbers instead of sons, daughters, fathers and mothers when they make decisions. We do not need them in public services.