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Brenda Fitzgerald: Trump’s public health chief wants to partner with industry

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 13 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4233
  1. Jeanne Lenzer, associate editor, The BMJ, USA
  1. jlenzer{at}

The new head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received praise for obstetrics campaigns, writes Jeanne Lenzer, but criticism for supporting quackery and using Coca-Cola’s money to fund anti-obesity programmes

When President Donald Trump named Brenda Fitzgerald as the new director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June, several public health officials praised his choice to lead the seminal public health institute.

Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, commended Fitzgerald, saying she is a “strong choice” to lead the apex public health agency. His statement read, “From her work as a practising obstetrician-gynecologist to her recent service as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Dr Fitzgerald is more than prepared to face the health challenges of our time.”

Others praised her position on abortion because she has said that the choice should be between a woman and her doctor—although she also has favoured restrictions on government payments for abortions.

As health commissioner of Georgia from 2011 to 2017, Fitzgerald helped …

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