Essential workers

Detroit Bus Driver Dies From Coronavirus After Posting Video About Coughing Rider

Jason Hargrove was infected before the city promised more bus cleaning and told bus riders to enter and exit from the rear door only

Bryan Mitchell/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Detroit bus driver who had expressed anger on Facebook about a coughing passenger has died from COVID-19, officials said Thursday.

Jason Hargrove felt ill about four days after posting a passionate video on social media on March 21. He died Wednesday, said Glenn Tolbert, the head of the drivers union.

Posted by Jason Djinfiniti Hargrove on Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hargrove posted a profanity-laced video complaining about a woman whom he said had repeatedly coughed while on his bus. The coronavirus can spread through air droplets after people cough or sneeze. The woman was not in the video.

Hargrove said drivers are "public workers doing our job, trying to make an honest living, take care of our families."

"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.

"At some point in time we’ve got to draw the line and say enough is enough. I feel violated," he said.

On March 17, the city eliminated fares, promised more cleaning and told bus riders to enter and exit from the rear door only. The changes occurred after drivers declined to work that day to protest conditions.

Mayor Mike Duggan said "everybody in America" should watch Hargrove's video.

"He was infected before we closed the front doors" on buses, Duggan said. "Some of his language is graphic, but I don’t know how you can watch it and not tear up."

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