A state agency investigation into a dog muzzle delivered to the former vaccine manager of Tennessee closed on Monday, concluding that the item was paid for by a credit card the official herself owned, CNN reported.
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a pediatrician, was fired from her role as Tennessee‘s “medical director of vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization” in July after releasing a memo concerning a minor’s right to be vaccinated, regardless of parent approval, CNN reported.
Legislators in the state questioned whether Fiscus sought to undermine the authority of parents, and she was fired shortly after, according to CNN.
Fiscus’ office received the muzzle 0ne week before her termination, which led to a Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDOSHS) investigation.
“Someone wanted to send a message to tell her to stop talking, they thought it would be a threat to her,” Fiscus’ husband Brad told the Tennessean in July.
TDOSHS later discovered that someone purchased the muzzle bought on an Amazon account apparently “attached to Fiscus and her credit card,” though she maintained she had no idea who sent the item to her, CNN reported.
A subpoena of Amazon’s records showed two different Amazon accounts, one of which Fiscus allowed investigators to access and one on which the muzzle was bought, according to TDSOHS, CNN reported.
“Hold tight. No, I didn’t send it to myself,” Fiscus tweeted Monday.
Fiscus “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,” she said in a statement to CNN.
“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,” Fiscus told CNN. “I have asked Homeland Security for the unredacted report so that I can investigate further and am awaiting their response,” she added.
The same American Express card, under Fiscus’ name and linked to her Amazon account, was used to purchase the muzzle on the second account, according to a TDOSHS report released Monday, CNN reported.
“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 the 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 agency found.
TDOSHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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