One Democrat in the Tennessee Legislature is accusing the state of firing its top COVID-19 vaccine expert for partisan political reasons, despite the fact that no official reason has been given for her termination.
“Science denying TNGOP legislators demanded a sacrifice to their anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-fact ideology & a great woman, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who worked tirelessly for Tennesseans every day during the pandemic was fired by [Gov. Bill Lee] to appease those who deny data & research,” state Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-TN-13) said on Twitter.
Science denying TNGOP legislators demanded a sacrifice to their anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-fact ideology & a great woman, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who worked tirelessly for Tennesseans every day during the pandemic was fired by @GovBillLee to appease those who deny data & research.
— Gloria Johnson (@VoteGloriaJ) July 12, 2021
In fact, the state has not given a reason for Fiscus’ firing, and there is certainly no evidence to suggest that Tennessee’s Republican officials had her fired because they “deny data & research,” or because they are “anti-mask,” “anti-vax,” or “anti-fact.”
Like most states, Tennessee imposed strict COVID-19 protection measures until earlier this year, when the vaccine became widely available to the public. Now, it is available to any Tennessee adult who wants to receive it. It is also available to all children ages 12 and older, with parental consent.
The Tennessee Star reached out to Johnson asking if she had any evidence or facts to support her claim. She did not return the comment request.
In a 1200 word statement, Fiscus aired her grievances after her termination. She claimed her firing was politically motivated, but also provided no evidence.
Here is an excerpt from the statement:
The public health professionals at the Tennessee Department of Health have worked themselves to exhaustion to protect Tennesseans from this virus. They are heroes. They have prevented suffering and saved countless lives. They are to be honored and commended, not cursed and vilified. And the “leaders” of this state who have put their heads in the sand and denied the existence of COVID-19 or who thought they knew better than the scientists who have spent their lives working to prevent disease… who have ignored the dead and dying surrounding them — even when their own colleagues have fought for their lives — they are what is “reprehensible.”
I am ashamed of them. I am afraid for my state. I am angry for the amazing people of the Tennessee Department of Health who have been mistreated by an uneducated public and leaders who have only their own interests in mind. And I am deeply saddened for the people of Tennessee, who will continue to become sick and die from this vaccine-preventable disease because they choose to listen to the nonsense spread by ignorant people.
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