DeSantis, state AGs pledge to investigate GoFundMe removing page for Canadian vaccine mandate protest
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), along with the state attorneys general for West Virginia and Louisiana, pledged Saturday to investigate GoFundMe’s removal of a page raising money for the Canadian protests against vaccine mandates, Reuters reported.
This comes as GoFundMe said early Saturday that it would refund all donations to the page.
“This refund will happen automatically — you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days,” GoFundMe announced in a tweet.
Speaking hours after the tweet was posted, per Reuters, DeSantis said that it was fraud for GoFundMe to “commandeer” the $9 million raised for protesting truck drivers, adding that “these donors should be given a refund,” despite the company’s announcement that the funds would be returned.
GoFundMe took down the page raising donations for the demonstrations on Friday, claiming that it violated the site’s terms of service, according to Reuters. The site initially announced after removing the page that donors needed to request a refund within two weeks or the money they had been given would be donated to charity.
Donald Trump Jr. on Friday called for all Republican attorneys general to investigate the matter in a post on Twitter.
“All GOP Attorney Generals should be looking at this & helping to get people their $$$ back so it can be redirected to the truckers,” he tweeted. “Don’t let @gofundme scam you… call your AGs & let them know. GFM seems to have no problem finding BLM riots… peaceful truckers should be fine too.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) both signaled on Saturday that they would be looking into the matter.
Addressing GoFundMe’s announcement, Morrissey said on Twitter Saturday morning, “We’re not done yet & will not tolerate shady practices.”
“My office will be looking into whether or not #GoFundMe violated our state law,” Landry tweeted.
Protests in Canada that began as a “Freedom Convoy” opposing a vaccine mandate impacting truck drivers have since developed into a broader demonstration against the country’s COVID-19 restrictions. Canadian officials this week condemned the protests as an “unlawful blockade,” and said that a “significant element” from the U.S. had joined in.
“They have converged in our city, and there are plans for more to come,” Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said. The police chief said participants in the protests, including locals, were “putting our city and our residents, our partners and our officers at great risk.”
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