Unvaccinated ICU Nurse Escorted Out of California Hospital in Viral Video

A video filmed as an unvaccinated ICU nurse was escorted out of a Los Angeles hospital has gone viral.

The clip was initially shared on Instagram and Twitter by conservative author and podcaster David Harris Jr. The nurse, identified as Tara Vafaeenia, is seen being escorted out of UCLA Health hospital due to being unvaccinated.

"So, I'm being escorted out of UCLA for standing up for medical freedom, despite coming to work, willing to work," Vafaeenia says in the clip.

"And I just can't believe that this is what they're doing right now. And I'm gonna fight for all of us out there, and I will continue to fight. And this is not okay, came to work despite being unvaccinated and willing to work for patients, to help out staff and this is how we're treated."

In an Instagram caption alongside the video that has racked up more than 600,000 views so far, Harris wrote: "This ICU nurse, Tara, just sent this to me... [crying face emoji] SHAME on @uclahealth!"

He also quoted the message he said he received from Vafaeenia, which said: "As a nurse for UCLA Health I worked tirelessly on the frontlines to help combat what we were dealing with nationally—globally.

"In response to my efforts, loyalty and dedication to my career and organization i am slapped with being removed from patient care, forced to handover my badge and escorted off hospital campus by security because I will not comply with their tyrannical policies. My heart is heavy and the passion I once had for my profession has been lost."

The clip was also widely circulated on Twitter, including by the PatriotTakes account.

On her Instagram page, Vafaeenia shared a link to a fundraising page on a Christian crowdfunding site with the title "UCLA ICU Nurse Standing for Freedom."

"Hi. I'm nurse Tara. I have been a nurse for nearly 12 years of which majority of my time at the bedside has been Critical Care (ICU) nursing," a post on the page said.

"At this point my stance is for freedom. This is not about Republicans vs Democrats, Liberals vs Conservatives, Religious vs Non-Religious. This is about fundamental human rights of freedom of choice. I make decisions for the health and well-being of myself; my body and my mind. What I do with my body is up to me; not the government, not a corporation, and not my employer. This stands true for every single human being."

It added: "I have made the decision to sacrifice my career and livelihood to stand up for what I believe is right. If you do not agree with me, I still respect you and I will continue to fight for your freedom and right to choose."

Asked about Vafaeenia's video, a UCLA Health spokesperson told Newsweek: "Per the state public health order and University of California policy, active UCLA Health employees not working remotely must be vaccinated or receive an exemption.

"Those out of compliance are subject to progressive discipline, including restricting access to work sites and being placed on leave."

California's health care workers were required to get at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 30.

Last week, Dr. Christopher Rake, an anesthesiologist, went viral after filming himself being escorted out of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center because he was not vaccinated.

"This is what happens when you stand up for freedom, and when you show up to work, willing to work, despite being unvaccinated, and this is the price you have to pay sometimes," Rake said in the video. "But what they don't realize is that I'm willing to go lose everything, job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause. Be well. United we stand, divided we fall."

Vafaeenia has been contacted for additional comment.

Update 10/13/21 10.45 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from UCLA Health.

Medical personnel are seen at UCLA hospital
Medical personnel are seen at UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica, on April 13, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

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