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Muzzle sent to former Tennessee state vaccine director purchased with her own credit card, investigation finds

Dr. Michelle Fiscus
Dr. Michelle Fiscus((Source: WMC))
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An investigation into a dog muzzle sent to the now-former director of Tennessee’s vaccination program found the muzzle was purchased by her own credit card.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security completed its investigation Monday into the muzzle sent to Dr. Michelle Fiscus over the summer. It began July 7 when a colleague of Dr. Michelle Fiscus’ reported it as a possible threat, saying it “can be attributed to the political nature of the current COVID-19 vaccination response.”

At the time, Fiscus was the medical director of Tennessee’s Vaccine Preventable Disease and Immunization Program, and she’d drawn criticism for writing a memo on the state’s “Mature Minor” doctrine related to child vaccines. She was fired from her post a week later.

Fiscus told agents the Amazon package was delivered to her office on July 2 and she opened it after the holiday weekend. It didn’t contain a return address or any identifying information on the sender.

The case file says Fiscus initially thought it was a prank or joke by a colleague but then suspected it was meant as a threat because of criticism she’d received from the public and state legislators. She provided investigators with emails, including one that said, “putting you on notice that we will be holding you accountable for any adverse effects or deaths on children brought on by you pushing an agenda of an experimental therapy on an age group whose chances of being affected by this virus are zero.”

The agent contacted Amazon and through a cursory barcode search it “appeared” as though Fiscus sent herself the muzzle but the worker could not be certain, and any additional information had to be subpoenaed.

According to the case file, the agent went back to Fiscus with the information and she denied sending herself the muzzle. She showed investigators her Amazon account and her previous purchases, which did not include the muzzle.

Further subpoenas showed the muzzle was purchased with a second account under Fiscus’ name and with the same American Express credit card in her name that is also associated with her first account.

The investigator wrote in his report “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 Fiscus associated with receipt of the dog muzzle. This case is closed.”

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