Gov. Bill Lee: Vaccine debacle shows ‘real lack of leadership’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee traveled to Memphis on Friday in response to what he’s called “a tough week or two for Shelby County.”

He called the findings of a recent Tennessee Department of Health investigation and subsequent news that the FBI would be looking into theft at one vaccination site “disappointing.”

“Well, I certainly think that what has happened in the Shelby County Health Department provides a lot of concern and there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. At the very least, I can say that there has been a real lack of leadership there,” he said when asked if Dr. Alisa Haushalter with the department should resign.

The state has intervened, removing Shelby County’s power to manage the distribution of the vaccine and giving it to the City of Memphis. Lee said that’s a severe intervention and exactly what needed to happen.

Lee said moving forward, the main goal is to continue Shelby County’s vaccination efforts and get vaccines to citizens as quickly as possible.

Lee said his team also met with Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s JT Young to talk about the challenges resulting from the storm and Shelby County School Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray on the reopening of schools on Monday.

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