Detroit bus driver dies of COVID-19 after ranting about passenger who openly coughed

A Detroit bus driver has died of COVID-19 just two weeks after ranting about a passenger openly coughing.

Jason Hargrove posted a video on Facebook on March 21 lamenting over one of his passengers who wasn’t following the proper pandemic protocol of covering coughs.

Mayor Mike Duggan and the Amalgamated Transit Union confirmed his death on Thursday, NBC News reports.

“We (are) out here as public workers doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families,” he says 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 that we in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don’t care.”

“It’s folks dying out here. I’m mad right about now because that s–t was uncalled for. And I’m trying to be the professional that they want me to be, so I kept my mouth closed,” he continued in the four-minute video.

“I feel violated. I feel violated for the folks that were on the bus when this happened.”

He urged others to take social distancing seriously during this time, saying: “This is real.”

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Though it’s not known if Hargrove contracted the virus from the woman who coughed in his bus, the situation still serves as a reminder to everyone to take the necessary steps to protect each other.

“He knew his life was being put in jeopardy, even though he was going to work for the citizens of Detroit every day, by somebody who just didn’t care. By somebody who didn’t take this seriously,” Duggan said during a Thursday news conference. “And now he’s gone.”

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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