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When not being anti-vaxx is a fireable offense

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In Tennessee, being a public health official who favors pro-public health policies can be bad for your career:

The Tennessee state government on Monday fired its top vaccination official, becoming the latest of about two dozen states to lose years of institutional knowledge about vaccines in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The termination comes as the virus shows new signs of spread in Tennessee, and the more-transmissible delta variant surfaces in greater numbers.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, said she was fired on Monday afternoon and provided a copy of her termination letter. It provides no explanation for her termination.

Fiscus said she was a scapegoat who was terminated to appease state lawmakers angry about the department’s efforts to vaccinate teenagers against coronavirus. The agency has been dialing back efforts to vaccinate teenagers since June.

“It was my job to provide evidence-based education and vaccine access so that Tennesseans could protect themselves against COVID-19,” Fiscus said in a written statement. “I have now been terminated for doing exactly that.”

Not enough Tennesseans are dying to please The Party of Death, but presumably state Republicans can get that turned around.

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