Statement made about TDH at committee meeting

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A joint statement by two members of the Joint Government Operations Committee involving the Tennessee Department of Health was read at the start of Wednesday’s meeting.

Sen. Kerry Roberts read a letter from him and Rep. John Ragan that discussed their main concerns with the administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children without parental consent and marketing to minors.

Chairman Roberts &amp; Ragan of the Joint government operations committee requested a private meeting with Dr. Piercey of the <a href=”https://twitter.com/TNDeptofHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TNDeptofHealth</a> Before agreeing to her request of deferring today’s meeting<a href=”https://twitter.com/WSMV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@WSMV</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MzzAPvElCW”>pic.twitter.com/MzzAPvElCW</a>&mdash; Tosin Fakile (@TosinfaksTV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TosinfaksTV/status/1417923554109177863?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 21, 2021</a>

Roberts and Ragan requested a private meeting with Dr. Lisa Piercey of the Tennessee Department of Health before agreeing to her request of deferring Wednesday’s meeting. In the letter they read addressing COVID-19 vaccine and minors and the Tennessee Department of Health, it said in their private meeting with Piercey, she detailed steps to stop marketing the COVID-19 vaccine to minors.

Piercey was not in attendance at Wednesday’s Joint Government Operations Committee meeting. News 4 has reached out to the Tennessee Department of Health for comment.

Democratic Rep. Vincent Dixie talked to the media after Democratic legislators weren’t allowed to respond to the letter read during the Joint government operations committee. He called on the governor to provide more leadership on COVID-19.

TN State Representative <a href=”https://twitter.com/vincentdixie54?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@vincentdixie54</a> talking to the media after democratic legislators weren’t allowed to respond to the letter read during the Joint government operations committee. He is calling for more leadership from <a href=”https://twitter.com/GovBillLee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@GovBillLee</a> on <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/WSMV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@WSMV</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Ijx9DE03DD”>pic.twitter.com/Ijx9DE03DD</a>&mdash; Tosin Fakile (@TosinfaksTV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TosinfaksTV/status/1417927197877313541?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 21, 2021</a>

During the committee’s June 16 meeting, Republican legislators suggested dissolving the Tennessee Department of Health, citing that the department was targeting vaccines at children.

Since that meeting, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee’s leading vaccine official, has been fired and the Department of Health has scaled back vaccine outreach.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Tennessee physicians and residents called for Tennesseans to get vaccinated and support for Dr. Fiscus.

<a href=”https://twitter.com/KGreenMD?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@KGreenMD</a> among those on the front row at the committee meeting making their stance clear and visible to Tennessee lawmakers. <a href=”https://twitter.com/drfixus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@drfixus</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/WSMV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@WSMV</a> <a href=”https://t.co/aIaZTN9ZQh”>pic.twitter.com/aIaZTN9ZQh</a>&mdash; Tosin Fakile (@TosinfaksTV) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TosinfaksTV/status/1417909934109376512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 21, 2021</a>

Tennessee physicians with the group Protect My Care tell News4 they’re going to this meeting today in support of Dr. Fiscus and say they’re calling for an investigation into her firing.

“Ultimately we would like to see her fully reinstated in her position, but I am not very hopeful that that would happen,” said Dr. Katrina Green, emergency physician. “She’s done a wonderful job throughout the pandemic in trying to keep Tennesseans safe, and so [we’re] just showing up to support her and let her know she is not alone.”

News4 reached out to both chairmen of the joint committee.

Representative John Ragan said he wouldn’t comment on the announcement before it was made.

Senator Kerry Roberts’ office only said he would make his comments at 1 p.m..

The Tennessee Department of Health declined to issue a statement on the matter.

The meeting is scheduled at the Cordell Hull Building at 1 p.m..

Follow News4 for updates.