Investigation shows fired Tennessee health official purchased dog muzzle mailed to her office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE 8/17/21:

Michelle D Fiscus, MD, release a statement Tuesday morning about the issue:

“I requested the inquiry from Homeland Security regarding the muzzle and was told it was not a credible threat that warranted a subpoena. On 7/20/21 the agent, formerly of the Governor’s COVID-19 Unified Command Group, texted me that he needed to speak with me and requesting an appointment for the following day. I agreed, but two hours later the agent again texted that something had come up, that he was unable to meet with me, and that the issue was “not pressing”. My first notification of the subpoena and report was when Axios reached out yesterday and shared the redacted report.I have requested the unredacted report from the agent and was told to contact their legal office, which we have done.From what I can tell from the report, a second Amazon account was opened under my name and linked to my credit card. A review of my credit card statement shows the charge does appear on my statement, but as the charge was small and we frequently order from Amazon, I hadn’t noticed it until I looked for it specifically. There is no email linked to that account and it appears to have been set up with a “burner phone” using a service we don’t have and from Washington State, where I had not been. The billing address listed for the credit card on the second account is incorrectly listed as my former office address. There is no IP address listed to identify the origin of the order. This is also a card that I have used for work-related travel expenses that are reimbursed by the state, and I have submitted receipts to the state that contain that credit card number.There are many more questions than answers at this time. We will release an update when we know more.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

An investigation by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Special Investigations Bureau found that the state’s fired vaccine chief, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, purchased the dog muzzle that she and her husband claimed someone had mailed the doctor in an attempt to intimidate her.

RELATED: Former top state vaccine official says politics led to her firing

Tennessee officials fired Fiscus in July. She had been facing scrutiny from Republican state lawmakers over her department’s outreach efforts to vaccinate teenagers against COVID-19.

Fiscus claimed she was fired as a scapegoat to appease lawmakers. She provided FOX13 a copy of her termination letter, which did not explain the reasoning for her dismissal.

RELATED: Tennessee fires top vaccination official amid pandemic

Fiscus and her husband claimed the muzzle was sent anonymously to her state office through Amazon shortly before her firing.

An investigation was opened at the request of the Director of Tennessee’s Emergency Preparedness Program, who was concerned that the dog muzzle was intended as a threat, according to records.

State investigators subpoenaed records from Amazon. The records showed that showed the purchase of the muzzle was linked to a credit card in Fiscus’ name.

FOX13 reached out to Dr. Fiscus and was sent this response:

“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 also put out a tweet responding to the topic in which she denies sending the muzzle to herself.