Muzzle sent to former Tenn. vaccine official purchased from account linked to her Amex, investigation finds

Southeast Region

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Last month, after Dr. Michelle Fiscus was fired by Tennessee officials, it was revealed someone had anonymously mailed a dog muzzle to the former top vaccine official for the state.

The anonymous delivery prompted an investigation by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security.

The department released details of the investigation on Monday and provided a redacted case document. Those findings show investigators subpoenaed Amazon and discovered the muzzle was purchased with a credit card on another account linked to Dr. Fiscus.

“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. 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.”

On July 14, Fiscus revealed someone had mailed a dog muzzle to her which she and her husband said felt like a threat.

According to Homeland Security, there appears to be no threat toward Dr. Fiscus associated with receipt of the dog muzzle at this time. The department says the case is now closed.

Dr. Fiscus responded to the investigation in a statement to Nexstar’s WKRN:

“I was just made aware of the report from Homeland Security today when it was shared with me by Axios Nashville. I had 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.”

Dr. Fiscus was fired by state officials in July. She told The Tennessean that her firing was to appease lawmakers, providing the newspaper with a copy of her termination letter, which did not explain the reasoning for her dismissal.

The former immunization director for the Tennessee Department of Health had been facing scrutiny from Republican state lawmakers over her department’s outreach efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among teenagers, who became eligible in May to receive a shot in Tennessee.

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