- Jason Hargrove, a 50-year-old Detroit bus driver, died from COVID-19 on Wednesday.
- Weeks earlier, he posted a Facebook video in which he complained about a passenger who had coughed in front of him and other bus riders.
- “For you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth, and you know we’re in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don’t care,” he said.
- It’s unknown if Hargrove contracted COVID-19 from the woman on his bus, but Detroit has become a hotspot for the virus in recent weeks.
- Glenn Tolbert, the head of the Detroit bus drivers’ union, told the told WXYZ that 100 of Detroit Department of Transportation’s 530 bus drivers are quarantined because of the virus and seven have died.
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A 50-year-old Detroit bus driver died from COVID-19 after complaining about a coughing passenger on Facebook.
Jason Hargrove posted a passionate video on Facebook on March 21, where he complained about a woman who had coughed in front of him and other passengers his bus as the novel coronavirus spread across the US.
“We out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families,” he said in the video. “But for you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth, and you know we’re in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don’t care.”
“There’s folks dying out here,” he added.
Hargrove fell ill on March 25, and died on Wednesday, Glenn Tolbert, the head of the Detroit bus drivers’ union, told the Detroit News.
Tolbert, who has also tested positive for COVID-19, told WXYZ that 100 of Detroit Department of Transportation’s 530 bus drivers are quarantined because of the virus. Seven drivers have tested positive for COVID-19, Tolbert said.
He said that drivers are worried about getting infected and that many have suggested stopping bus transportation for the time being.
“They’re obviously scared,” he told the Detroit News. “They’re up in arms. It’s the fear of the unknown.”
It’s unknown if Hargrove contracted the virus from the coughing passenger, but Detroit has become one of the country’s COVID-19 hotspots in recent weeks. Detroit’s Wayne County has 2,211 cases as of Friday morning. Michigan has 10,792 COVID-19 cases.
“I don’t know how you can watch it and not tear up,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said of Hargrove’s video at a news conference on Thursday. “He knew his life was being put in jeopardy… by someone who didn’t take this seriously and now he’s gone.”
In his video, Hargrove said he was angry solely at the woman for coughing, but not at the city or its decision to continue public transportation.
“I ain’t blaming nobody – nobody. Not the city, not the mayor, not the department, not the state of Michigan, not the government, nobody, not the president,” Hargrove said. “It’s her fault. It’s people like her who don’t take [the coronavirus] for real while this still exists and is still spreading.”
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