Dr. Michelle Fiscus ac intv 7.14.2021 vpx
Former vaccine official says she received disturbing package before she was fired
03:15 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A state investigation into a dog muzzle that was sent to Tennessee’s former vaccine manager closed Monday after it was found the muzzle was ordered with the official’s own credit card.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a pediatrician who served as Tennessee’s medical director of vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization, was fired in July after she released a memo citing a 34-year-old state law about whether minors may get medical care without their parents’ permission.

The memo led legislators to question whether Fiscus was undermining parental authority. She was fired soon after; Tennessee’s health department told CNN at the time it could not comment on personnel matters.

Fiscus claimed to have received the muzzle a week prior to her termination. At the time, Tennessee Department of Health officials contacted the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDOSHS), expressing concern that the muzzle was intended as a threat. Fiscus told investigators she had no knowledge of who sent the muzzle, the report said.

The TDOSHS investigation found the dog muzzle was ordered from an Amazon account that appeared to be attached to Fiscus and her credit card, according to a report released Monday.

“Hold tight. No, I didn’t send it to myself,” Fiscus tweeted Monday.

In a statement, Fiscus said she “requested that Homeland Security obtain a subpoena as Amazon refused to release details of the account that ordered the muzzle that was delivered to my office on July 3, 2021.”

“We have now learned that a second Amazon account had been established under my name using what appears to be a temporary phone, possibly in Washington state. I have asked Homeland Security for the unredacted report so that I can investigate further and am awaiting their response,” Fiscus’ statement read.

On August 7, 2021, the results of a subpoena of Amazon records showed two different accounts in Fiscus’ name, the TDOSHS report said.

The first account was an account the former vaccine manager had allowed TDOSHS to review during their interview with her. The second account was the account that the muzzle was purchased on.

According to the report, the American Express card listed as a payment method on the first Amazon account was an exact number match for the American Express card that was used to purchase the muzzle on the second Amazon account. The American Express account was in the name of Michelle D. Fiscus, the report said.

“Based on the information provided to us by Amazon via subpoena, and on information derived from interviews, there is no evidence to indicate that the dog muzzle was intended to threaten Dr. Fiscus,” TDOSHS concluded in its report.

“The results of this investigation indicate 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.” the report said.

CNN has reached out to Amazon and American Express for comment.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.