The campaign started with the firing of a Texas nurse for not following a mandate to get vaccinated at a Texas hospital.
It also helped to fund a lawsuit against hospital. The suit was dropped in June.
A $50,000 donation was made anonymously to the campaign.
GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform, has removed a Texas nurse's campaign to repeal a COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Insider learned that the fundraiser had raised more than $180,000 and was in violation of its misinformation policy.
The campaign was started in April by Jennifer Bridges (a former Houston Methodist hospital registered nurse who refused to be vaccinated).
Bridges, who appeared on Fox News to voice her opposition to the vaccine, raised money on GoFundMe and filed a lawsuit against the mandate in May. Bridges' lawyers and many other employees signed up to the lawsuit. They were forced by Texas to receive an experimental vaccine.
According to Bridges' legal filing, vaccine mandates are "likened to forced medical experimentation during World War II," according her attorney.
In June, the lawsuit was dropped. Bridges' lawyers appealed against the decision.
Jennifer Bridges' campaign has raised over $180,000 since April 2021, when it was launched. Screenshot/GoFundMe
"When our team first reviewed the fundraiser it was within our terms and service because the funds were for legal costs to fight vaccine mandates," Heidi Hagberg (a spokesperson for GoFundMe) stated in an Insider statement. "The fundraiser was updated to correct misinformation that violates our terms and service.
After Insider raised concerns about statements on the campaign page, the subsequent review was done. These statements challenged both the safety and mandates of vaccines. Hagberg stated that Bridges would be allowed to keep the money because the campaign was within our terms at the withdrawal.
Bridges' original campaign, which received $50,000 anonymously, had presented opposition to the vaccine mandate in relation to concerns that it hadn't been FDA approved.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved the full approval of the vaccine from Pfizer BioNTech in August. Previously, Pfizer BioNTech had been granted an emergency-use authorization based upon data from clinical trials.
Bridges did not accept the full approval. Bridges' September update on her fundraiser was clear: "No one should ever have to inject anything into their body that isn't safe against their will."
Bridges ridicules evidence that vaccines are safe in a video posted to this campaign. She claims to have seen it cause miscarriages or death. She said, "All lives are important."
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been responsible for one death worldwide. However, it is unclear if it was the cause. Recent research also showed no link between mRNA vaccines, miscarriage rates, and increased numbers. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults over 12 years old, "including pregnant women," be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Bridges did not respond immediately to a message asking for her reaction to GoFundMe’s decision. Houston Methodist declined comment.
GoFundMe removed the fundraiser Friday and said that it had taken down "hundreds of similar fundraisers" that promoted misinformation about vaccines.
The fundraising platform has not yet removed any campaigns that made questionable claims about COVID-19 vaccines. Active fundraisers are active on the site for at least two dozen medical professionals who were fired for refusing vaccination.
Deborah Conrad, a fired New York physician's assistant, has raised over $68,000 in less that two weeks to cover living expenses and travel costs for events where she spoke out against vaccine mandates.
The company takes 2.9% off donations and insists that the fundraiser is in compliance with its policy.
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