Bus driver who complained about passenger coughing dies of coronavirus

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


A Detroit bus driver who posted a viral Facebook video complaining about a woman openly coughing on his bus has died from the coronavirus, according to The Detroit News

Jason Hargrove, 50, passed away Wednesday after contracting COVID-19, according to Glenn Tolbert, head of the Detroit bus driver’s union. Tolbert said Hargrove started feeling sick four days after he recounted the incident on his bus and then died a week later. 


In the 8 1/2 minute video, an angry Hargrove describes how a woman in her 50s or 60s coughed repeatedly without covering her mouth, noting that there were about eight other passengers aboard the bus along with him. 

“This is real," Hargrove said on March 21. “Y’all need to take this serious.” 

The driver continued, saying that he and his colleagues were “out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families, 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.”

Though there is no way of knowing how Hargrove got the virus, the Detroit News noted that the incident described by Hargrove has raised fears among bus drivers in the city.

In many parts of the country, including Michigan, transportation employees are considered “essential” workers.

The Detroit news outlet noted that the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) has implemented measures in response to the concerns, including cleaning its buses more frequently and providing gloves and wipes for drivers.


The DDOT did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

The state of Michigan have been hit particularly hard by the virus. As of Friday morning, more than 10,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 and 417 people have died, according to the state government’s website. 

The city of Detroit has one of the highest counts of confirmed coronavirus cases, at 2,858 infections and 101 deaths.