Fired Tennessee vaccine official received a dog muzzle at work days prior to her ousting

Tennessee’s chief vaccination officer, who says she was fired this week for condemning her promoting Covid-19 vaccines in teenagers, received a dog muzzle at work just days before her fall.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Brad, claimed that the muzzle that came in the mail was designed to keep his wife from speaking.

“Somebody wanted to text her to stop talking,” he said.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is investigating.

Fiscus has said her release on Monday was a political decision to appease lawmakers who disapprove of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to vaccinate teens against Covid-19.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus of Franklin, Tenn.William DeShazer / The New York Times / Redux

In an interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday, Fiscus said their job is to bring the Covid vaccine “across the state and to ensure that it is done fairly and in a way that every Tennessee who has access to the vaccine wishes , “Would be able to get one.”

“I have now been fired for doing just that,” she wrote in an early statement to the Tennessean.

However, new state documents state that Fiscus was fired for being a poor leader and manager.

Tennessee’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Jones, argued that Fiscus should be removed in part because of complaints about its governance approach and how it had handled a letter about minor vaccination rights that sparked outrage among Republican lawmakers, state records show.

Jones wrote in a July 9 letter that Fiscus deserved to be fired for “failure to maintain good working relationships with members of their team, their lack of effective leadership, their lack of adequate management, and their unwillingness to Consult supervisors and others ”. internal stakeholders on projects (vaccine and vaccination prevention program).

Dr. Michelle Fiscus speaks from Franklin, Tennessee on July 13, 2021.AP

Jones’s letter to Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey also alleged Fiscus had not delegated enough and requested to use the department’s funds for a nonprofit she founded.

Brad Fiscus, however, circulated three of the past four years of performance reviews that rated his wife’s job “excellent,” including a job review from October 2019 through September 2020. The couple were unaware of the July 9-July letter by Thursday asked why it wasn’t used on Ficus’ discharge on Monday, Brad Fiscus said.

Fiscus 2019-20 Performance Review said she exceeded expectations “in managing all programmatic activities” and “stood up appropriately and effectively on her team”. It also found that their program had “key transitions” that were “well managed”.

Outrage over youth vaccination campaign

Fiscus said tensions with GOP lawmakers escalated when it released a document on Tennessee’s “Mature Minor Doctrine,” a 1987 Supreme Court ruling that stated that Tennessee between the ages of 14 and 18 could be “without consent.” parents can be treated unless the doctor believes that the minor is not mature enough to make their own health care decisions. “

The health department later stopped all vaccination campaigns for minors – and not just because of the coronavirus, as shown by email documents first reported by The Tennessean.

The postponement came two weeks after a June hearing at which Republican lawmakers admonished the agency for how it communicated about the vaccine, including through online posts.

During the hearing, Republican MP Scott Cepicky held up a printout of a Facebook ad that said teenagers were eligible and called the agency’s advocacy “objectionable” and compared it to peer pressure.

Only 38 percent of Tennessee’s population is vaccinated, placing the state in the bottom 10 of vaccination rates. Covid-19 cases have risen again, with the state’s average daily new cases increasing by 451.4 in two weeks, according to researchers at John Hopkins University.

In a statement Thursday, Health Commissioner Piercey said there had been “no interruption in the children’s immunization program or access to the Covid-19 vaccine while the department was evaluating annual marketing efforts for parents.”

In an email to NBC News this week, a health department spokesman Bill Christian did not comment on reports that the state has stopped all vaccination campaigns for minors, but said the department “wants to remain a trusted source of information for individuals, including of parents, help make these decisions, “wrote Christian.

He added that an “intense national conversation” affects the assessment of vaccinations in general by many families.

“We are simply aware of how certain tactics could affect this progress,” wrote Christian.

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