Michelle Fiscus, Top Tennessee Health Official, Fired For Promoting COVID-19 Vaccines To Teens
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a top health official in Tennessee, was fired from her job on Monday after she suggested that teens, ages 13-17, receive the COVID-19 vaccination. She worked as the Medical Director of Tennessee’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program for the Department of Health.
While Fiscus was still in charge, the state’s Department of Health was asked to appear before the Government Operations Committee because there was concern that Fiscus was putting pressure on children through Facebook messenger and other forms of advertisements to get inoculated without parental consent.
Fiscus has expressed concern about where her state is headed. In a 1,200-word response published in The Tennessean, she wrote that she is “angry for the amazing people of the Tennessee Department of Health who have been mistreated by an uneducated public and leaders who have only their own interests in mind.”
Tennessee's former top vaccinations official, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, says the state’s elected leaders put politics over the health of children by firing her for her efforts to get more Tennesseans vaccinated. Only 38% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated. https://t.co/STyWcLQcks
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 14, 2021
She said that she is equally aggravated by the fact that the Tennessee Department of Health has stopped all outreach efforts for any vaccines for children.
The latest statistics show that only 38% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which means that the state is lagging behind the rest of the nation.
Gov. Bill Lee (R) has declined to comment so far.
In a June committee meeting, some Republican lawmakers were angry because Fiscus sent a letter to medical providers who administered the vaccines and informed them about the state’s legal mechanism that allows teenagers as young as 14 to get inoculated without parental consent. She said that the Health Department’s Attorney provided the letter.
The agency terminated her on Monday, but no one told her of the precise reason why she was fired.