“An investigation into the source of a muzzle sent to the office of Dr. Michelle Fiscus was purchased with a credit card belonging to Fiscus”
Tennessee’s now-former vaccine chief Michelle Fiscus claims she ran afoul of Republican state officials by urging teens as young as 14 to get vaccinated without parental consent.
In the brouhaha leading up to her eventual firing for “poor interpersonal communication skills, ineffective management and attempting to steer state money to a nonprofit she founded,” Fiscus claimed to have received a dog muzzle from Amazon.
She claims to have taken it as a message that she shut up about vaccinations. It has now been revealed by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security who investigated the incident that Fiscus sent the muzzle to herself via a secondary Amazon account using her personal American Express card.
Axios broke the story, so be sure to review their work. I’m not a fan of their choppy, disjointed layout, so I am going to use a local news outlet.
An investigation into the source of a muzzle sent to the office of Dr. Michelle Fiscus was purchased with a credit card belonging to Fiscus, according to a report released by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The report states that the muzzle sent to Fiscus was purchased with a credit card in the name of Dr. Michelle D. Fiscus.
“Based on the information provided to us by Amazon via subpoena, and on information derived from interviews, there is no evidence to indicate the dog muzzle was intended to threaten Dr. Fiscus,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Special Agent Mario Vigil wrote in a memorandum closing the investigation. “The results of this investigation indicates that purchases from both Amazon accounts were charged to the same American Express credit card in the name of Dr. Michelle D. Fiscus. At this time, there appears to be no threat toward Dr. Fiscus associated with receipt of the dog muzzle. This case is closed.”
Fiscus was Medical Director of the Tennessee Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program at the Tennessee Department of Health before she was fired on July 12.
For her part, Fiscus denies sending the muzzle to herself, but she does not address the use of her American Express card for the purchase.
Regarding the muzzle: I ASKED Homeland Security to investigate the origin. Just provided a redacted HS report by Axios Nashville. Report says a second account was made under my name from a phone in WA? Waiting on unredacted report. Hold tight. No, I didn't send it to myself.
— Michelle Fiscus MD,FAAP (@drfixus) August 16, 2021
It’s not clear what she hoped the muzzle hoax would do in terms of saving her job, but she did admit that she was using the national attention as a “platform.”
She spoke with some coworkers at the Tennessee Department of Health. They told her to get the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security involved.
“What they were told from Amazon was that they would need a subpoena in order to determine who had sent it,” Dr. Fiscus said.
She still doesn’t know who sent the dog muzzle.
It was delivered before she was fired. It’s a story that’s gained national attention.
“I don’t know why it’s caught fire, but I’m going to use this platform to continue to support the work of public health, the people who do that work for all of the right reasons, and to continue to promote the importance of being vaccinated,” Dr. Fiscus said.
It’s not clear at this stage what, if anything, Fiscus will be charged with, but from her tweet, she intends to waste taxpayer resources dragging out the apparent hoax.
Here’s a screenshot of the above tweet (archive link), should it somehow disappear.
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