As reported by the New York Times, Dr. Fiscus is just one of at least 181 public health officials in 38 states who have been forced out of their jobs or pressured to resign by Republicans politicizing COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations.
“It's only one a huge symptom of how toxic the entire political landscape has become, ”said Dr. Fiscus on Tuesday. "This virus is apolitical – it doesn't matter who you are, where you live or which president you prefer."
But that's not what the Tennessee Department of Health says. When asked about their vaccine stance, the agency issued a statement stating, “To be this trustworthy messenger means we are aware of the hesitation and intense national discussion that affects how many families are vaccinated in general evaluate. We are just aware of how certain tactics could affect this progress. "
In other words, because Republicans are stepping down against vaccines, we stopped supporting vaccines. This is not an apolitical position. It is a position that says that when the truth is confronted with lies, the truth should step back in order not to offend the liar.
Ending the vaccination campaign and stopping school vaccination events will have a clear, easily definable outcome: unnecessary death or long-term illness for children who are not receiving the vaccines that are not only available to them but should be promoted for them. What the Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Republicans know is that COVID-19 poses a serious threat to children and adults. Silence and withdrawal in the face of this threat are by no means to maintain public health. It is surrender. It's cowardice.
The Tennessee Department of Health is deliberately removing the names of anyone under the age of 18 from its mailing list so they don't receive postcards informing them of vaccine effectiveness or vaccination events. According to the ministry, this is done so that they are not "potentially interpreted as a solicitation to minors". This is a term usually reserved for illegal activity. Tennessee treats sending children vaccine information like it's the same as trying to get them behind the barn to have sex.
With all vaccine discussions banned, it's unclear whether Tennessee will be mailing postcards on leeches or just taking barbers to school to treat the medically necessary bloodletting directly. In any case, it is clear that they will allow themselves to be bullied well into the Middle Ages for worrying more about offending Republicans in the state legislature than actually protecting the health of the state.
Complaints about the politicization of COVID-19 do not adequately capture what is happening. Democrats don't politicize the virus, Republicans do and have done so from the start. Reporting accurately on a public health threat and advising people to take precautionary measures rather than downplaying that threat and actively intervening in treatment is not right vs. left. It is right versus wrong for want of better terms. Good versus evil. America against native terrorists trying to harm the nation.