Over the summer I snagged a job freelancing for The Epoch Times. I appreciated a lot of their content and the reputation they seemed to uphold.
My interview was done online and felt less like an inquiry into my abilities and more of a hiring meeting where I was offered the pay scale, criteria, and basically asked if I was ready to work for the paper. The pay was good. Great in fact. Better than most writers/journalists ever get.
I was required to download the Shen Xun app on my phone. I had already been hacked once when freelancing for The New American, so this frustrated me. Especially when every time I opened any other app I received a notification that Shen Xun was running. I automatically feared that the app was spying on me.
I don’t know much about apps, but Shen Xun is supposed to offer secure messaging. Still somehow I never trusted it.
For the first month or so, I just let it go. Every pitch I sent to my lead editor was approved. Each article was accepted and minimally edited. Then one of my articles went viral.
I got an interview with a nurse who quit her profession over unscientific COVID policies through America’s Frontline Doctors. She sent me a giant file of documents to go through and offered me a bevy of information confirming that standard medical protocols were not being followed to combat COVID or properly test vaccines.
One document in particular exposed that pregnant women were excluded from all COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials (meaning the covid-19 vaccine was never tested on them), but the hospital she worked at ─ along with most others ─ were recommending it to pregnant women and deeming it “safe and effective.”
The article blew up and was shared over eighteen thousand-times. After that the editing process for my articles got harder. My direct editor and I went back and forth a lot and then I started talking to my lead editor directly. He acted as if this was all normal.
Then I interviewed Dr. Jane Orient about vaccine coercion. There were charts, and claims that many doctors refuse to even acknowledge. It took hours over the course of a week to finally get the article approved, but once it went up it started getting shared like crazy. Within 5 hours it had over two-thousand shares and things weren’t slowing down.
Then, it disappeared. No one contacted me.
I messaged my editors and went into the group chat to discuss the matter. My editors messaged back stating that it needed to be altered because the information wasn’t backed enough. I had taken Fauci’s statements and Dr. Orient’s and displayed them as opposing points, but her opinion was being questioned. Apparently the medical opinions and experiences of an actual practicing doctor wasn’t considered relevant when questioning Dr. Fauci’s (A non-practicing doctor) changing medical recommendations.
This was news to me. I fought for my article because I knew people needed to read it. I knew they finally heard something that made sense.
So my lead editor called me. He told me that the article went “too far,” and that we need to be more sensitive to Dr. Fauci’s feelings.
I was under the impression that I was a journalist working to report on the news, but when it was explained that “Dr. Fauci has feelings” and we shouldn’t print things that upset him I began to question the legitimacy of the paper I worked at.
I worked to get my article reinstated but by the time it went back up it had been completely neutered. The headline was altered from the original, Doctor Calls Out Fauci’s “Vaccine Frenzy” After He Slammed Missouri for Low Vaccination Rates. Interest had waned, and the situation insulted all the work that I put into the original.
I wanted to quit but I had already lined up some other interviews. I told myself, “One more article and that’s it.” One more became six more. The pay was needed and I hated my work.
Editing became a constant battle. Everything I pitched had to be explained in careful detail. I struggled through edit after edit after edit. It was like they were punishing me for giving a voice to censored individuals.
I started uninstalling the Shen Xun app between pitches, editing conversations, and publishing. I stopped offering as many stories as before. I didn’t want to and they didn’t seem to want my work.
I’m not sure exactly what I did wrong, if it was political or not, but I definitely have my suspicions. I know my writing is far from perfect but there are too many red flags to not say something.
It’s easy to become paranoid in journalism, especially if you challenge mainstream narratives, but I can’t find much information about the Shen Xun app other than it is Chinese. I know China is pushing surveillance and social credit scores. I know that spying is becoming more common in the US and that cell phones are not 100% secure no matter what protections are installed.
I’m still shocked that any paper would take down a story as it’s going viral because they want to protect someone’s feelings, especially Dr. Fauci, a man who has flip-flopped so many times on how to handle the pandemic that our own senators are calling for legal action to be taken against him.
I don’t know if I was spied on or if The Epoch Times is controlled opposition, but my faith in their integrity is gone. What little faith I had in journalism is barely hanging on.
Too many people are afraid of being politically attacked. Maybe my article got The Epoch Times threatened. Plenty of reporters, editors, and media outlets have shown their cowardice in recent times. Maybe I’m a coward for not fighting harder, for not working to become a stronger voice in the field. For now I find comfort in the fact that I’m done and have other options.
Either way here’s what the original story looked like:
Doctor Calls Out Fauci’s “Vaccine Frenzy” After He Slammed Missouri for Low Vaccination Rates
By Jessica Marie Baumgartner
From July 23, 2021
An Arizona doctor decries the COVID-19 vaccine as dangerous and believes the data is being manipulated after Dr. Fauci criticized the Show-Me-State for not enough vaccinations.
Dr. Fauci recently called out Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccination rate, stating, “If you have a low level of vaccination, which certain sections of the state of Missouri have, you are going to see an increase in infections, which ultimately might lead to an increase in hospitalizations.”
49.9% of Missouri’s adult population has completed vaccination with 56.9% initiating vaccination (at the time of reporting). But these numbers are not as high as other states. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Missouri ranks number thirty-nine in the nation for vaccine rates. By comparison, the most vaccinated state is Vermont, which currently has 67% of its population fully-vaccinated.
Dr. Fauci painted a grim picture for Missouri and promoted the non-FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine. He blamed “vaccine hesitancy” for a reported surge in Missouri COVID cases, but not everyone in the medical profession agrees.
Dr. Jane Orient is an outspoken member of the medical community who expressed concerns over the current climate of the industry, the vaccine, and PCR test accuracy. The Epoch Times spoke with her about the data coming out of Missouri and she had plenty to say, “There are reports of deaths, but then you look at the Department of Health and you see that statistics are going down. There is definitely a vaccine frenzy, and the question is what’s in it and why do they want everyone to take it?”
The Data & The Vaccine
Dr. Orient noted that she believes the data is not being properly recorded or reported for the virus or vaccine injury. Neither the CDC nor the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services responded when contacted about these allegations.
“It’s unprecedented from a medical perspective.” She scoffed at the pressure to get vaccinated. “This is not the black plague. We have viral epidemics periodically and they do fade away. And this would have been no different if we didn’t have it counted on the news.”
Her main concern is that the CDC is pushing a shot that has not been fully FDA approved, it has not finished clinical trials, and side-effects are not being taken seriously.
During Dr. Fauci’s statements about Missouri he said, “The vaccines have shown to be exquisitely effective, without a doubt,” and went on to state, “And quite safe.”
The CDC’s own website declares, “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.”
In addition, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services released a fact sheet which noted, “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.”
But Dr. Orient declared, “I think the vaccine is very dangerous.” She explained that the mRNA technology used in some of the shots is new and not completely understood even by developers.
The FDA responded to a request for comment by offering their information regarding Emergency Use Authorizations which have been granted to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, and Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Their explanation does not state that the vaccines are safe or effective but that, “Clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness.”
Dr Orient also discussed the PCR tests ‒ which are used to detect COVID-19 and new variants. She detailed that PCR tests are not like standard tests. They can be altered to change the threshold for positive results. The threshold for COVID-19 results has been set to a higher level and that’s how a large number of false-positives have been produced throughout the pandemic.
The test itself has been seen as somewhat controversial. Creator of the PCR Technology, Kary B. Mullis, originally designed it to replicate DNA, not test for viruses. But it is now the standard of the COVID era.
Variants & Information Suppression
Concerns about COVID-19 variants in Missouri led the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the University of Missouri (MU) to create The Sewershed Surveillance Project. This new science tracks virus genetic material in wastewater and has detected variant strains as of their last testing update.
This data is being used by officials like Dr. Fauci to warn people about the Delta variant and encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But upon further discussion with Dr. Orient, she calmly broke down how viruses often change and mutate, and that the current vaccines ‒ like the flu shot ‒ may not be effective against any variant because they were not developed for those strands. “That’s what viruses do. Will it be more lethal? Probably not. How effective are the vaccines? We don’t know.”
A 2020 study confirmed Dr. Orient’s conclusion, and detailed, “Ill-informed discussions of mutations thrive during virus outbreaks, including the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. In reality, mutations are a natural part of the virus life cycle and rarely impact outbreaks dramatically.”
Dr. Fauci and the CDC’s approach to the pandemic has led Dr. Orient, and others, to mistrust their politics. She stated, “There’s every reason to suspect that information is being suppressed.”
Neither Dr. Fauci’s NIH office, nor the CDC responded to her comments, but Dr. Orient’s philosophy of medicine has served her for decades. She describes herself as “a 38th year medical student,” who doesn’t have all the answers but likes to ask questions and find the right diagnosis.
Asking questions is a standard element of the scientific method. The “Show Me State,” is being criticized by health officials, but its people represent all Americans, including those who are asking about the effectiveness and safety of a new vaccine.