Memphis councilman calls on Haushalter to resign from health department

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis City Councilman Chase Carlisle is calling on Dr. Alisa Haushalter to resign from her job as head of the Shelby County Health Department, becoming the first local elected official to do so publicly after state health officials found 2,400 Covid vaccines had gone to waste while in the health department’s care.  

Carlisle plans to introduce a resolution on Tuesday calling for Haushalter and other senior health department leadership to be removed. The move is largely symbolic since city council has no authority over the health department.  

The councilman is also against allowing the health department to resume management of COVID vaccines.  

“I think they’ve been given multiple opportunities culminating to 2,400 doses and potentially 2,400 lives put in harms way and under no circumstances would I be an advocate for them being put back in charge,” Carlisle said.  

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said he had confidence in Haushalter’s leadership Wednesday.  

At a townhall meeting Thursday evening, Haushalter was asked whether her remaining at the health department served as a distraction, but resisted calls to resign. 

“As far as whether our leadership is a distraction or it is an addition really is a conversation generally between myself as well as the mayor,” said Haushalter.  

But Wednesday, Haushalter revealed has given thought to calling it quits.  

“On any given day that’s something that I consider. I’m actually at retirement age,” said Haushalter. 

To which Carlisle says: “What’s stopping you?”          

“I’m committed to this community. I’m committed to correcting any of the errors that occur along the way,” Haushalter said at Thursday’s townhall event.  

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