informed choice wa
Informed Choice WA activists standing in front of Olympia, Washington, Capitol building in 2019. They are protesting the removal of the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry. 2024 Democratic Presidential candidate and noted vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. stands in the center of the front row of the crowd (with tie). ICW Board President Bernadette Pager stands in the front row, second to the right (with scarf). / Photo Courtesy ICW

Group to Host ‘COVID Betrayal’ Event Saturday at Calvary Spokane Church


Group to Host ‘COVID Betrayal’ Event Saturday at Calvary Spokane Church

News Story by Cassy Benefield

Informed Choice WA will be presenting their event, “COVID Betrayal: A Path Forward,” Saturday (May 20) at Calvary Spokane from 1-5 p.m.

Bernadette Pajer, a fiction novelist turned activist for “vaccine safety reform,” presides over ICW as the president. She says the event has two main goals in addressing harms caused by federal and state responses to COVID.

“We need to come together as a community to share experiences because there’s healing in coming together and sharing experiences,” said Pajer. “And then also looking at what happened systemically in the state and in the nation that led to these responses that cause so much harm.”

She said harms include job losses caused by vaccine mandates, families “torn apart” by choosing alternative paths to health, which differ from civic health agencies, and COVID vaccine injuries and deaths.

Mama Bears Trying to Heal Their Kids

Pajer said she does not identify as an ‘anti-vaxxer’, but rather a former vaxxer.

She discovered the vaccine injury movement as a result of her son, who, at 8 months old, went into anaphylactic shock because he became allergic to all the food components of vaccines. He was exposed to environmental toxins later in his life, which led her to find ways to heal him.

She said, in this movement, she discovered other mama bears “trying to heal their kids” and who were trying to find real healing solutions for the injuries they saw coming from vaccines.

“I realized the future of humanity rides on us getting trustworthy information,” Pajer said.

She does not believe the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are providing responsible information to the public, but are instead being “corporate captured” by pharmaceutical companies that affect their decision making.

“So as an organization, we have been working toward fully-informed consent and medical freedom of choice regarding a lot of things, but we particularly focus on vaccination,” Pajer said.

Spokane Regional Health District Recommends Vaccines

The Spokane Regional Health District supports the uses of vaccines and sees the study of vaccines for diseases as rigorous and effective.

“It’s understandable to be concerned about what we’re putting into our children’s bodies and even our own,” the SRHD wrote in a statement to FāVS News. “Established institutions, such as the CDC have those same concerns and have therefore put in place rigorous processes and testing to ensure treatments, medications and vaccines are safe and effective.”

They also noted in their statement that vaccines have led to the eradication of smallpox and the near elimination of the wild polio virus. In addition, they write that the number of people experiencing the devastating effects of preventable infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria and whooping cough is at an all-time low because of vaccines.

And while acknowledging the learning curve that came along with the COVID pandemic and how to minimize the spread, the SRHD believes the benefits of the COVID vaccine outweigh the health risks.

“The vaccine has proven to be safe, as we have seen with the administration of at least one dose to nearly 270 million people in the United States,” the statement said. “We also saw, during high hospitalization peaks, that the majority of those hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated. It was clear that any health risk the vaccine may have presented was far less grave than the health risks associated with getting COVID-19.”

Still Vaccine Opposition a Reality

The ICW think differently about vaccines, including the COVID vaccine, and this is another reason for the “COVID Betrayal: A Path Forward” event.


John Stockton will present the keynote address. He is a former Gonzaga and NBA basketball player “whose Zag tickets were suspended for disagreeing with dubious mandates because he followed the science,” according to the event’s website.

The event lists 13 additional presenters. These include several medical doctors, individuals who have had family members injured by vaccines and vaccine mandates, employees who were fired from government departments for refusing to comply with COVID vaccine mandates and more.

Local, high-level sponsors are Empire Therapy, the Black Diamond billiard bar, Artcraft Printing and Spokane County Republican Central Committee.

Table sponsors include Turning Point USA-Faith, Libertarian Party of Washington, John Birch Society, Moms for Liberty Spokane County and a few others.

Not a Religious Event

Despite the event taking place at a church, Pajer said all are welcome to the event, and it is not meant to be for Christians only.

“Sometimes churches are the most welcoming for subjects having to do with health and health freedom, where some other places sometimes say ‘it’s political or controversial,’ which I think is absurd,” Pajer said. “[This church] is the venue where they allowed us to use their facility.”

The core vision ICW strives toward is “a future with no vaccination mandates of any kind, where every doctor is fully trained in identifying vaccine risk factors and recognizing vaccine injury, every child is afforded a personalized approach to disease prevention, and every parent has the freedom to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families” according to their “About Us” section of their website.

Tickets cost $10.

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