Investigation Finds Former Tennessee Vaccine Official Paid for Dog Muzzle Sent Before Firing

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 17, 2021 Updated: August 17, 2021

A dog muzzle that a former top Tennessee vaccine official said she interpreted as a veiled threat was actually ordered by the official, an investigation found.

A health official on July 7 asked the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security to probe the matter after Dr. Michelle Fiscus, at the time the medical director of the state’s Vaccine Preventable Disease and Immunization Program, claimed that she did not order the package and expressed concern about it.

Investigators met with Fiscus the following day and she insisted she had not ordered the muzzle.

“Dr. Fiscus stated that she then suspected that the muzzle was possibly meant as a veiled threat based on her job and the COVID-19 vaccination program she supervises,” an investigative report obtained by The Epoch Times states.

Fiscus told investigators that the threat may convey that she should “stop talking about vaccinating people.”

Fiscus agreed to let investigators review her purchases on her Amazon account, and the muzzle did not appear there.

But investigators obtained a subpoena for Amazon to compel the company to produce the real name, email address, billing information, and phone numbers for the account that ordered the muzzle.

The results from the subpoena showed the account was in Fiscus’s name and had been opened in March. A subsequent subpoena showed Fiscus had two Amazon accounts—the one she allowed investigators to inspect, and the other one that was revealed by the original subpoena.

Both accounts used the same American Express credit card.

“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,” Mario Vigil, a special agent, wrote in the report.

The case was closed on Monday, the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security told The Epoch Times in an email.

Fiscus took to social media to deny sending the muzzle. She denied knowing of the existence of the second Amazon account.

“That account was apparently accessed from the State of Washington, where I had never been, by a cell phone using a carrier I have never used. I have asked the state for the full unredacted report and am awaiting a response,” she wrote.

Fiscus was fired last month for promoting state rules that let children 14 and older get a vaccine without parental consent.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican who backed the termination, said Monday he did not want to comment on the investigative report because he had not read it yet.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.