NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A dog muzzle was mailed to Tennessee’s former top vaccination officer a few days before she was dismissed this week, according to a newspaper, in what she claims was an attempt to use her as a scapegoat to please lawmakers.
Republican lawmakers have chastised Michelle Fiscus for the Tennessee Health Department’s outreach attempts to vaccinate teens against COVID-19. Some politicians threatened to defund the Health Department during a parliamentary session in June, citing a letter Fiscus wrote to medical professionals clarifying the legality of vaccinating minors 14 and above without parental agreement.
Brad Fiscus told The Tennessean that about a week before she was dismissed, his wife got a shipment from Amazon containing a black dog muzzle at her office. Michelle Fiscus, on the other hand, he added, was “taking it in stride” and would continue to “say the truth.”
The event is being investigated by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Michelle Fiscus said she is embarrassed by Tennessee’s leaders, scared for her state, and “mad for the great employees of the Tennessee Department of Health who have been abused by an uninformed public and politicians who have just their own interests in mind” after being fired.
Since then, the health administration has confirmed that all vaccination outreach activities for children, not only COVID-19 immunizations, have been suspended. The Tennessean was the first to report on the policy shift.