Detroit driver dies from COVID-19 days after scolding a coughing passenger

Mohammed Awal April 06, 2020
Image credit: New York Times

A Detroit bus driver, who went berserk in a viral video, angrily scolding a passenger for openly coughing on him amid the coronavirus outbreak, has died from the disease. Jason Hargrove, 50, died from the respiratory sickness Wednesday.

The head of the city’s bus driver union, Glenn Tolbert, announced Hargrove’s death Thursday.

In the March 21 video posted on Facebook, Hargrove did not mince words when he schooled the coughing passenger on the need to adhere to the WHO guidelines on coughing amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which according to Johns Hopkins University, has infected more than 1.27 million people and killed over 69,000 worldwide.

The passenger who was a woman repeatedly coughed in the bus without any effort to cover her mouth, according to Hargrove.

“We’re out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families,” he said. “But For you to get 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,” Hargrove said in the famous video laced with profanity.

“At some point in time, we’ve got to draw the line and say enough is enough. I feel violated,” he added. Ironically, Hargrove would die from a complication of COVID-19, the illness caused by the contagion.

“I just didn’t think we should be putting our drivers at risk,” Mayor Mike Duggan said following Hargrove’s death, The Detroit News reports.

“If you haven’t seen Jason Hargrove’s post on Facebook, everybody in Detroit and everybody in America should watch it. He was infected before we closed the front doors. Some of his language is graphic, but I don’t know how you can watch it and not tear up. He knew his life was being put in jeopardy … now he’s gone,” he added.

Tolbert told CNN that drivers are getting more sick due to a lack of protective gear. “We are the first responders before the first responders because we pick up the sick taking them to the hospitals.”

Detroit has about 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 129 deaths. Citing the city’s health department, Clickon Detroit reports that new figures released on Saturday show positive cases rose by nearly 400 from Friday. Some  14,225 cases have been confirmed, with 540 people dead statewide.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: April 6, 2020


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