We Stand With the Doctor Who Probably Sent Herself a Threatening Muzzle

Even if it was wrong, this is a very funny thing to do.

Jack Russell Terrier dog in a muzzle. A dog in a muzzle lies on the grass.

It sucks when, while observing an epic feud, there are no good guys or bad guys, no clear lines of morality, and no easy takeaway. It’s that classic construct of Joan Crawford vs. Bette Davis, of Olivia Rodrigo vs. that blonde girl, of Gawker vs. Hulk Hogan, and now, of Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security vs. a pro-vaccine pediatrician who is alleged to have bought herself a silicone dog muzzle off an Amazon account in her name and tried to pass it off as an anonymous threat. Everyone did a little bit wrong, allegedly.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the ousted medical director of Tennessee’s immunization program, told investigators in July that the muzzle was a “veiled threat” to get her to shut her mouth about mRNA vaccines. But according to Axios, the state investigation found that the muzzle was charged to an American Express in her name.

On Twitter, Fiscus responded by popping off at Axios, emphasizing that the Amazon account in her name from which the muzzle was sent was registered to a temporary phone number in Washington.

While Fiscus waits for the unredacted report, she has not offered an explanation for how the phony Amazon account would’ve gotten her credit card information. I want to believe the doctor, because I hope the Hippocratic Oath means something. Plus, I believe in science. I got the jab six or seven times in three different states, just in case.

I’ve created a fake Washington phone number with ease on Google Voice innumerable times over the past five years, sometimes for noble reasons like phone banking for state Senate hopefuls, and sometimes for nefarious reason, yeah, like sending a muzzle to my apartment and accusing my naysayers of trying to silence me for speaking out about public health crises. It’s complicated, and I will not be silenced.