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Opinion | Something smells fishy around here | Richard Ransom

Local 24 News Anchor Richard Ransom discusses in his Ransom Note about the information the TN Department of Health found with Shelby County vaccine distribution.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — In tonight’s Ransom Note: the smell test. 

We reporters use it often. 

When things don’t add up on a story, when questions are ignored, when you start hearing things off the record. 

In other words, when things don’t smell right, they don’t pass the smell test. 

Such is the case with the health department and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To be fair, no one there has ever dealt with anything like it. There’s no playbook. 

But isn’t almost a year a long enough learning curve? 

Yet for weeks, I’ve had questions about the vaccines. Where they’re going and where they’re not, how many there are, how many hospitals are getting, why so many people were being turned away, and most of my questions were ignored. 

Now it appears we were misled that it wasn’t 13-hundred doses thrown away, but 24-hundred. 

And the reason wasn’t the weather, but mismanagement. 

Also, that the county is sitting on 51-thousand doses? 

I sent a text to County Mayor Lee Harris tonight asking if he has full confidence in his health director Alisa Haushalter. 

And since it’s an appointed position, will she stay on as the county’s director of health? 

So far, no answer. But given what we know now, it is a fair question 

Join the conversation by email (rransom@localmemphis.com), Facebook, or Twitter.

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