Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resigned Wednesday, a day after Politico reported Fitzgerald's purchase of tobacco stock after she took the position at the nation's top public health agency.
Such an investment is obviously at odds with the mission of the CDC, considering cigarette smoking will result in the deaths of nearly half a million Americans this year. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of CDC, will serve as acting director. She served as acting director just befoe Tom Price began his short, ill-fated tenure. Anna Almendrala reported at The Huffington Post:
Before taking over as acting director, Schuchat was principal deputy director of the CDC, a position she held since 2015. But her longest role was leading the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases division from 2006 to 2015. Schuchat led the agency in its polio eradication efforts during this time, and the number of cases worldwide went from 1,979 in 2005 to 74 in 2015.At a 2015 Senate hearing, referred to the "totally discredited" Wakefield study and said "vaccines don't cause autism"
Schuchat is also vocal against anti-vaccine voices. She’s not afraid to blame the anti-vaccine movement for recent outbreaks of measles in the U.S. and writes studies showing how childhood vaccinations make disease rates plummet. Popular Science magazine dubbed her “America’s anti-anti-science crusader” for her unequivocal stance in support of vaccines and against “fraudulent” and “totally discredited” medical claims about vaccine dangers.