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Response to the High Plains Reader article on North Dakota during the pandemic.
A recently published article in the High Plains Reader (HPR), “Why Was North Dakota The ‘COVID Death Capital of the World?’” includes quotes from me.
First off, Laura Simmons, the author, made a good effort to provide a balanced article and I commend her. She was not required to provide an alternative viewpoint in her article about a recently released book, but did so anyway. She was reasonable in both the initial off-the-record and subsequent on-the-record interviews. She provided a recording of our on-the-record interview and emailed it to me. She allowed me to email follow-up clarification.1 It’s clear in her article she attempted to gain additional viewpoints but to no avail.
In turn, I provided her with several PDFs, including one of an email exchange between myself and a former HPR reporter regarding the Bismarck City Attorney Jannelle Combs incident,2 which was eventually used in a Fargo Forum article. I also provided her with a PDF copy of my own pandemic book to give her background and additional detail (as well as quotable material if needed) on some of the things we’d talk about with the understanding that it was for professional use only, and not for broad distribution. I did not try to direct or suggest edits to her article in any way, and did not see it until it went live.
In the past (which you’d know if you read my book about the pipeline protest), I haven’t had great interaction with reporters from HPR. When you hear a reporter with them wants to talk to you…meh.
So let’s start with a list of points to get out of the way:
No, I don’t watch Fox News. I’m so tired of people throwing that at me in the past I just put that out there. Stop.
Yes, I think Trump was wrong in encouraging people to get the vaccine. Hey, if you got it, you followed his advice. Good job.
I don’t watch any major news, anymore. That’s why I’m not in a panic.
I have not read McDonough’s book, the one featured by HPR. I don’t intend to. I suspect he has no intention of reading mine, though to be fair mine has some pretty pictures, including comics.
HPR has not asked to feature my book. I’m not under the assumption anyone would want to, but it is interesting that they’re featuring McDonough’s. I did ask Simmons, if she used a quote from my book, to mention that it came from my own book. Since I had actually forgotten about the interview until today, when I was alerted to its publication, I can’t remember what I said and don’t have the time to listen to an hour of recordings. So whether the quotes came from the recordings or the book, I don’t know. Only McDonough’s book is going to be featured in HPR.
The first thing I said when I shared the link to the article with my family is “watch the nasty messages and emails come in now.” Because that is how it goes. I certainly hope to be pleasantly surprised.
There are a couple of points of clarification from the article that I’d like to make.
First, I didn’t hear a receptionist at my dentist's office say she wished I was dead. In the relaying of a variety of stories, it’s possible I presented the scenario in a confusing way to Simmons. What happened was a woman said in the comments section of Facebook that she worked at the ______ office and when people came in without masks she got so angry she wished they would just die. I replied to her, in the comments, that I was a client and if she’d like me dead, to let me know if I should cancel my next year’s appointments.
So, it was not said out loud in the actual office, but online. I don’t know that it’s any better to do it that way, but I want to be clear that no one said such a thing out loud to me in that place of business.
Second, my role as an admin in the alleged “far-right”3 Facebook group was much more benign than you might imagine (as was the group), and that story has context that, though not able to fit in Simmons’ article, would put a better perspective on it. (See footnote 2 below.) Suffice it to say that public servants, such as the examples given, weren’t all sweetness and light to the public they were paid to serve. Some folks reacted poorly to that.
Third, I’m not sure that I said I knew of a couple of doctors who quit because of the vaccine. I know of several in the medical community (nurse, NP, etc.) who left their jobs because of it (one moved away from the state and from Sanford). But they weren’t doctors. I do, however, know of one actual doctor who quietly recommended his staff hold off on getting the shot to the point of not getting it at all.
Fourth, since I haven’t read the book I don’t know how recent his information and sources are. I would assume, as a professional, they would be as current as possible to the publication date. However, things have shifted from the pandemic era. Dr. Deborah Birx, for example, got into a wee bit of trouble, after her finger-wagging at North Dakota, for not following mandates with her own family gathering. She sort of disappeared from the scene after that. She now has a slightly different stance on things.
I don’t know if McDonough addresses any new data (there was enough “old” data back in the thick of it that was ignored, so I assume not), though it seems like he is still toeing the government-medical-industrial-complex party line.
I would like to assume since McDonough is presenting himself as the expert professional, that he has, indeed, read the vast amounts of books and articles coming out that aren’t in alignment with his own stance simply because that is what a professional, using their professional expertise as a critical part of their stance, would do. Right?
“Julie, show us the data!”
On my blog.
Back in 2020-2022. I shared it with the city commission. I shared it Facebook and got “jailed.” I referenced some in my book, and gave readers recommended reading (though there’s so much more by now). You can find the magic data all over Substack—this blogging platform—like gangbusters. You can find it on Gettr and other social sites that aren’t censoring it. You can read the horror stories that are the Pfizer documents.
If you want a blow-by-blow refutation of some of these concepts McDonough raises, you can get them…in my book. I have wasted enough time tossing pearls before swine, three years of presenting data, information, and cajoling.
There are a lot of scary interesting things out there now, more every day, both in book and website forms, as the data rolls in on masking and vaccines directly related to this pandemic. BUT YOU WILL ONLY FIND THEM IF YOU WANT TO FACE REALITY. I suspect most people don’t, because you can’t go back and undo what’s done. So I’m not going to waste my time doing that for you. If your head is still in the sand on this matter, you like eating sand and may, by all means, continue to pound it as well.
While McDonough attributes North Dakota’s “high COVID cases” to poor leadership, I attribute it to horrific and ineffective protocols used by our hospital that vented and isolated sick people, choosing to use expensive, useless, and liver-destroying Remdesivir instead of better options; excessive testing combined with running the PCR test cycles above 40 which even Fauci said was too high; and the gleeful amount of money that could be made from lots of cases and hospitalizations when the government faucets of money-for-everyone were full on. Mo’ numbers mo’ money.
The only poor leadership I can think of I believe I lay out very clearly, in no uncertain terms, in my own book.
With zero qualms I will state that I have not changed my mind or position and am in full disagreement with what McDonough seems to be espousing in his book as based on the HPR article. If we needed to do something different in this state, it would have been
fewer no mandates and a reminder to those in public “service” that the basic rights and lives of the citizens are about more than numbers and are not theirs to control as they attempted to do.
Cover your face. Inject more experimental dangerous crap into your body. Worship at the altar of the whitecoats. Inhale your own bacteria all day. Get myocarditis, explosive cancer, strokes, “unexpected” death, heart stoppage, fertility issues, auto-immune disease, overall suppressed immunity, and all the other things that are showing up in the data. Join the shockingly high numbers of excess deaths that the medical experts are trying to dismiss and you won’t hear about on your nightly news. Feel free to keep doing that.
I will not.
She had asked a question about why liberty was important to me and I found it very difficult to answer because I didn’t understand how that was a real question for someone to ask. Isn’t liberty important to everyone? I understand that, for the article, you must ask a variety of questions to get statements for the reader, whether you need the question asked for yourself or not. But it caught me off guard; it was like being asked what the color blue was.
For paid readers, I will make available a PDF of the blog post I wrote at the time of the incident as context to that is not available in the HPR article. That blog no longer exists. If you would like a copy, leave a comment and also email me.
Here’s the sign that the professional person whose book you’re reading has a blind spot: they simply refer to a large group of people (over 5K in that Facebook group, in this case) as “far right.” This is someone incapable of seeing individual human beings in disagreement with him as still valid. Unsettling in general, scary when you realize he wants to have a real say in broad medical policy. Doctors who see groups instead of individuals are a little too pragmatic and on the path to justifying anything for the sake of the whole. It’s also the continuation of labeling the opposition so you can dismiss them (and their ideas) easily and sloppily.