News Releases

Senator Murray repeatedly raised concerns about Fitzgerald’s conflicts of interest and broad recusals from work impacting key public health issues like cancer and opioids

Senator Murray: “Yet another example of this Administration’s dysfunction and questionable ethics”

Senator Murray calls on President Trump to select a new CDC Director prepared to focus on families and communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, issued the following statement on news that incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar accepted Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s resignation after it became clear financial investments prevented her from fulfilling the role of CDC Director. 

Senator Murray repeatedly raised concerns about Dr. Fitzgerald’s financial investments and the broad recusals necessary to avoid conflicts of interest, which prevented her from fully engaging on public health issues including cancer, the opioid epidemic, and other epidemics that involved information technology.

“It is unacceptable that the person responsible for leading our nation’s public health efforts has, for months, been unable to fully engage in the critical work she was appointed to do. Dr. Fitzgerald’s tenure was unfortunately the latest example of the Trump Administration’s dysfunction and lax ethical standards.

“I hope the incoming Secretary of Health—nominated because his predecessor resigned for using taxpayer dollars for his personal luxury travel—will encourage President Trump to choose a new CDC Director who is truly prepared to focus on families and communities.”

In December 2017, Senator Murray urged Dr. Fitzgerald to provide detailed information about the terms of her recusals to Congress, and raised concerns about Fitzgerald’s inability to testify at multiple hearings relevant to the work of the CDC.