City Councilman calls on health director to be fired; Haushalter responds

Memphis Councilman calls for firing of health department leadership

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s county government that overseas the Shelby County Health Department, but it’s a city elected official who wants to send a clear message to the leaders on the other side about what they should do with the health department’s leadership.

Memphis City Councilman Chase Carlisle is introducing legislation to remove the senior leadership team at the Shelby County Health Department.

“This resolution is me asking my colleagues to help us save lives,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle applauds the state’s decision to remove controls of vaccine distribution from the Shelby County Health Department, but he wants to go a step further.

He drafted a resolution asking that the state and federal investigation be expedited and transparent.

He is also asking that Health Director Alisa Haushalter along with all health department leadership be fired.

Carlisle said, “The governor of the state of Tennessee put the responsibility of this pandemic in the hands of the Shelby County Government, the Shelby County Health Department and time and time again we’ve had issues.”

Dr. Haushalter addressed calls for her resignation during a panel discussion for the United Way of the Mid-South’s Candid Conversation series.

“As far as whether my leadership is a distraction is really a conversation generally between myself as well as the mayor, but I’m committed to correcting any of the errors that occur along the way,” said Haushalter.

State health investigators discovered 2,400 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine were thrown away due to expiration.

They also found a stockpile of 30,000 doses of the vaccine.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercy said Wednesday that was a significant violation of vaccine management.

Haushalter says the original plan was to use some of the additional doses to vaccinate teachers on February 15th, but the state cautioned them not to move forward with vaccinating teachers and rather stick with the current phases.

Haushalter says that’s what led to the stockpile.

Haushalter said, “So I think we were in alignment with the state. We just began moving a little bit quicker than we probably should have,” said Haushalter.

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