In response to the “blessing” claim, Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s spokesperson Casey Black said, “No one speaks for the Governor but this office.”
In May, the health commissioner herself explained Fiscus’ memo on the Mature Minor Doctrine in a letter responding to a lawmaker, which was obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed Friday by Health Department spokeswoman Sarah Tanksley.
“We hope the memo informs the state’s vaccinating partners of the current state of law in Tennessee so they may each make the best decisions for their patients,” Piercey wrote to GOP Rep. Robin Smith, adding that many providers still choose to get parental consent first.
As for the letter’s complaints about her leadership style and conflicts with staff, Fiscus said, “This has been a pandemic of historic proportions and a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out that required that I, as well as members of my team, work extraordinary hours for months on end. It was stressful and, at times, there were disagreements.”
But Fiscus noted consistent praise for her job performance, including years of performance reviews deeming her work “outstanding,” most recently for October 2019 through September 2020.
She also included a recent text message she said was from the same departmental physician with whom the termination recommendation says she had a disagreement.