Press Release

AFT Leaders on the Resignation of the Director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For Release: 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Richard A. Fowler
202/393-6355; Cell: 202/412-7745

WASHINGTON—A statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on the resignation of the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brenda Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s resignation comes on the heels of recent questions surrounding her financial conflicts of interest:

“The CDC director has a moral obligation to protect the American people from threats to their health, safety and security. Sadly, Fitzgerald has failed to deliver on that commitment. With Fitzgerald’s continued conflicts and stock purchases involving the tobacco, insurance and pharmaceutical industries, she has put her wealth over the interests of the people she was supposed to protect.

“This behavior is unacceptable and untenable; you cannot be the director of the CDC and buy stock in companies that have a track record of putting Americans at risk. President Trump promised to drain the swamp, but today’s resignation is another example of his doing anything but.”

A statement from Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals President and AFT Vice President Candice Owley:

“As healthcare professionals, we must either help, or do no harm to, the patient. Sadly, our CDC director doesn’t abide by this same principle. Her financial conflict of interests put the work of the CDC and our entire healthcare system at risk—in the midst of the worst flu outbreak in recent history and a growing opioid epidemic.

“Over and over again, the Trump administration continues to nominate flawed candidates whose government positions are essential to the health, safety and well-being of our country’s families. We need to elect leaders willing to hold President Trump and his administration accountable, instead of those who roll over and stand idly by as the American people’s lives are put in jeopardy.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.