GoFundMe has taken down a $180,000 fundraiser for a Texas nurse seeking to overturn a coronavirus vaccine mandate, claiming it violated their policy against vaccine “misinformation.”
Nurse Jennifer Bridges started the GoFundMe campaign in April, seeking to raise funds for an anti-mandate lawsuit after she was fired from Houston Methodist hospital following her refusal to get vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, according to a report by Business Insider.
The fundraiser — which received an anonymous donation of $50,000 — reportedly helped fund Bridges’ lawsuit against the hospital’s mandate in May. The suit was dismissed in June, but Bridges’ attorneys have appealed the decision.
GoFundMe told Business Insider that upon further review, the fundraiser violated the platform’s policy against “misinformation.”
“When our team initially reviewed the fundraiser, it was within our terms of service as the funds were for legal fees to fight vaccine mandates,” GoFundMe spokesperson Heidi Hagberg said. “The fundraiser has since been updated to include misinformation which violates our terms of service.”
The report adds that the subsequent review of Bridges’ GoFundMe campaign was conducted after Business Insider itself suggested the fundraiser didn’t just challenge the vaccine mandate, but also “the safety of the vaccines themselves.”
Business Insider said the former nurse’s campaign had originally opposed the mandate due to concerns that the vaccine was not “fully FDA approved,” and claimed that Bridges remained “defiant” after the FDA granted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine full approval in August.
A September update to Bridges’ fundraiser stated, “No one should ever be forced to inject something into their body that is not safe against their will,” the report adds.
In an email to Business Insider, the former nurse disputed the claim that she had been spreading “misinformation,” and said she would be launching a new fundraiser elsewhere.
Hagberg told the outlet that because the fundraiser was “within our terms at the time of withdrawal,” Bridges will be able to keep the money. GoFundMe also said it has taken down “hundreds” of similar fundraisers that promoted so-called “misinformation related to vaccines.”