Christian faith leaders join call for investigation of Gov. Lee, Health Dept. after vaccine expert’s firing


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee pastors are joining the chorus of lawmakers and doctors to call for an independent investigation into the controversial firing of the state’s top vaccination expert. They’re calling on Gov. Bill Lee to end the “politicization of public health” after ousting Dr. Michelle Fiscus.

“We are calling for an independent investigation into the suppression of vital, life-saving public health guidance,” said Rev. Kevin Riggs, pastor of Franklin Community Church in Franklin.

This comes as Fiscus, the former medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization, says she was fired for doing her job, sharing a decades-old case law about health care rights children have to medical providers.

“A pattern of cover-up and suppression of vital life-saving public health information which endangers the most vulnerable among us and jeopardizes a safe return to school in August and even jeopardizes our economic recovery,” Riggs said.

With the COVID-19 delta variant spreading in several states, pastors say it’s indicative of a lack of leadership.

Rev. Gordon Myers, pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in Arlington said the moves by the Lee administration “will lead inevitably to avoidable suffering, hospitalizations, and death.”

Faith leaders say that the firing of Fiscus is a chilling effect of state leaders putting politics before people.

“Tennessee has lost a great and wise mind, who was determined to save lives, and it worries many of us to see the direction in which Tennessee elected officials are moving,” said Rev. Stephen Handy, pastor of Mckendree United Methodist Church in Nashville.

Forty-three percent of Tennesseans have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Just 38.5% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated.

“We call on our public officials to do the right thing, not for your political party, but for the people who elected you. Every person is precious, and we all have a moral obligation to reach everyone,” Handy said.

News 2 reached out to Gov. Lee’s office for comment and has not heard back as of Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News Videos

Missing teens found safe in Harrogate

Escaped Fentress Co. inmate still on the loose

Internet provider working to repair fiber-optic cable damage

Robbery suspect arrested after standoff with Knoxville Police

Morristown homeowner arrested after deadly shooting

United Methodist Church breaks ground on new community in Hardin Valley