NYC medic responds to viral tabloid article
Paramedic Lauren Kwei said the "New York Post" included her name in an article about her use of the app OnlyFans against her wishes
By Laura French
NEW YORK CITY — A New York City paramedic has responded to a tabloid article about her that was widely circulated and criticized online.
The "New York Post" published an article titled "NYC medic helped 'make ends meet' with racy OnlyFans side gig," written by Dean Balsamini and Susan Edelman, on Saturday, which includes quotes from Paramedic Lauren Kwei about her use of the OnlyFans online platform to sell nude images of herself for additional income.
The article received significant backlash on social media, with many expressing support for Kwei and criticizing the Post's portrayal of her situation. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied to the Post's tweet about the article, saying, "Leave her alone. The actual scandalous headline here is 'Medics in the United States need two jobs to survive.'"
Leave her alone. The actual scandalous headline here is “Medics in the United States need two jobs to survive”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 14, 2020
Kwei, who works for a private ambulance service, responded to the publishing of the article on Monday, in a Facebook post stating that she didn't want the article or her name to be published, and that Balsamini had spoken to her about her background and use of OnlyFans before telling her what her statements would be used for.
Kwei went on to describe her upbringing, education and work in EMS, expressing her mental health struggles during the pandemic and financial hardships throughout the years.
"I LOVE my job and I love taking care of people. I don't want to quit my day job and get my bag on OnlyFans — I want to serve the city of New York. That's all I have ever wanted to do," Kwei wrote.
The post also included a call for more support for first responders, mentioning PPE shortages, lack of hazard pay, suicides among EMS providers and deaths of healthcare workers due to COVID-19.
"EMS are the lowest paid first responders in NYC which leads to 50+ hour weeks and sometimes three jobs. My brothers and sisters DESERVE CHANGE!" Kwei stated, encouraging readers to visit the Emergency Medical Services Public Advocacy Council's website to find ways to support EMS providers.
After the Post article was published, an online fundraiser was set up for Kwei, with a description stating that funds will go toward helping her "keep her freedoms of choice and expression to support herself during her legal battles against the newspaper and her fight to keep the job she loves." The fundraiser has raised more than $56,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Read Kwei's full statement below: