DETROIT – A Detroit bus driver who expressed anger at a coughing passenger on Facebook died of COVID-19, officials said Thursday.
Jason Hargrove felt sick about four days after the posting of a passionate social media video on March 21. He died on Wednesday, said Glenn Tolbert, the head of the drivers’ union.
The 50-year-old Hargrove posted a video with swear words in which he complained about a woman whom he said had repeatedly coughed on his bus. The corona virus can spread through air droplets after coughing or sneezing. The woman was not in the video.
Hargrove said drivers are “public employees who do our job, try to make a fair living, and look after our families.”
“So that you can get on the bus … and cough several times without covering your mouth, and you know (we’re) in the middle of a pandemic – that lets me know that some people don’t care,” said Hargrove.
“At some point we have to draw the line and say that enough is enough. I feel hurt,” he said.
On March 17, the city removed tariffs, promised more cleaning, and asked bus drivers to get in and out only through the back door. The changes came after the drivers refused to work that day in protest of the conditions.
Mayor Mike Duggan said “everyone in America” should watch Hargrove’s video.
“He was infected before we closed the front doors,” said Duggan on buses. “Part of his language is graphic, but I don’t know how to see it or tear it apart. He knew his life was in danger … from someone who didn’t take it seriously and now he’s gone.”