Jennifer Bridges was fired on Tuesday from Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital after refusing to comply with its requirement that employees be vaccinated.
Speaking on Fox News‘ Hannity on Wednesday she said she was infected with the coronavirus last summer, and that regardless of whether she is immune, her vaccinated colleagues shouldn’t be concerned.
‘If they took that vaccine, and they feel safe about it, then they shouldn’t worry about if we had it or not,’ she said. ‘… I had Covid last summer, I do not need that vaccine and Methodist did not care about that.’
Texas Nurse Jennifer Bridges appeared on Hannity Wednesday after she was fired from her job at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital the previous for refusing to comply with its mandate that all employees be vaccinated for the coronavirus. She was with her lawyer, Jared Woodfill
Bridges cited a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic, which indicated that immunity from being previously infected with the coronavirus was roughly as effective as that provided by vaccination, and that the already infected were unlikely to further benefit from getting inoculated.
Her former employers she said, ‘need to follow the proper science because we do not need to be vaccinated if we had COVID.’
Bridges was among 153 Houston Methodist employees who either resigned or were terminated this week, after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit earlier this month over the vaccine requirement.
She was the lead plaintiff in the suit, which she filed along with 117 of her fellow colleagues, and in which they likened their situation to medical experiments performed on unwilling victims in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Bridges led a protest earlier this month against the hospital’s vaccine policy. She said she didn’t need to get vaccinated after contracting the coronavirus herself last summer
In his June 12 decision US District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston called the comparison ‘reprehensible,’ and deemed Bridges’ contention that the vaccines are ‘experimental and dangerous’ to be false and otherwise irrelevant.
The judge said that if employees of the hospital system didn’t like the requirement, they could go work elsewhere.
Bridges, 39, who had worked at the hospital for 6-and-a-half years, argued in the suit that the vaccines were unsafe because they do not have full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Bridges was among 153 Houston Methodist employees who were terminated or resigned Tuesday after they refused to comply with the hospital’s vaccination policy and a judge dismissed her employee lawsuit that the requirement was unlawful. Protesters gathered outside the hospital on June 7, the deadline when its employees needed to be immunized
The vaccines currently have emergency authorization from the FDA.
Jared Woodfill the attorney who filed the suit on Bridges and her colleagues’ behalf, reiterated that point Wednesday.
‘For the first time in the history of our country, we have an employer saying to their employees as a condition of employment, you have to participate in a vaccine trial, you have to take an experimental vaccine,’ he said. ‘We think this is a completely inconsistent with the law, the both federal statutes and the Code of Federal Regulations.’
In particular, he said, Bridges’ and her colleagues’ termination constituted punishment after their work on the frontlines during the pandemic.
‘As a result of their service, she contracted COVID-19, she recovered and recuperated, and at the time, we said “go girl, go.” But here we are today, Methodist Hospital says you won’t submit to or participate in our vaccine trial, here’s your pink slip, sentencing her to bankruptcy,’ he said.
Protestors of Houston Methodist’s vaccine policy. The lawsuit against the hospital was seen as a test as to how far employers could go to protect the health of their workers
‘And that’s just plain wrong.’
Houston Methodist’s decision in April made it the first major US health care system to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers.
The hospital system’s president and CEO, Marc Boom, has said nearly 25,000 of its more than 26,000 workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
‘You did the right thing. You protected our patients, your colleagues, your families and our community. The science proves that the vaccines are not only safe but necessary if we are going to turn the corner against COVID-19,’ Boom said in a statement to employees.
Bridges (second from left) was with the hospital for 6-and-a-half years
On June 7, the deadline for the hospital workers to complete their immunization, Bridges led a walkout with her colleagues to protest the policy.
Shortly after, Houston Methodist suspended her and 177 other workers for two weeks without pay.
Woodfill vowed to take the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and if unsuccessful there, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
‘This is a question that needs to be answered, not just for Jennifer and the employees at Methodist, but also for employers and employers all across the country,’ he said. ‘So I think it’s a very important case of first impression that’s going to set legal precedent for folks all across this country.’