A video circulating on social media in recent days shows a large group of Detroiters congregating — flouting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order calling on all Michigan residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The video shows a large group partying at a gas station.
“If any of these fools worked at the hospital and see what I saw. It ain’t no way they would do this,” a woman named Shamika Taylor commented on the video. “The last 5 patients that passed on my unit was young and healthy. They dumb [as] hell!”
In another video that was circulated widely on social media, Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove went off after an older woman was coughing on his bus without covering her mouth. “This coronavirus shit is for real,” Hargrove said in the profanity-laced video. He died days later after contracting the virus.
Violating Michigan’s stay-at-home order can result in a $1,000 fine.
The defiant gathering comes as Detroit is getting hammered with coronavirus infections and deaths. Though it has just 6.7% of the state’s population, Detroit has a quarter of its confirmed infections and deaths.
On Friday, Mayor Mike Duggan warned that New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus in the U.S., “is our future if we don’t change our behavior.”
“We are going to have to deal far more strictly with enforcing the governor’s executive order on social distancing,” Duggan said at a press conference on Friday.
Duggan said a vast majority of Detroiters are adhering to the social-distancing-measures, but he and public health officials are worried that the few who are ignoring them are placing the rest of the city at risk.
“I expect the police department to be very strong in dealing with groups that are gathered and have no reason to be in public,” Duggan said.
Another concern is groups of people playing basketball at the city’s parks, which remain open — for now. New York City closed its parks, Duggan pointed out.
The city began removing basketball rims from public parks to discourage people from congregating.
“If we have to close parks, we’ll close parks,” Duggan said. “We don’t want to do that. A vast majority of the city has been terrific. People are angry when they see these gatherings. We’re going to step up the tickets and take stricter and stricter actions until we get more enforcement.”
On Friday, Detroit reported 19 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total to 116. The total number of confirmed infections in the city rose to 3,572, with 712 new cases, as the city dramatically increases its testing capacity.
Updated 5:46 p.m., Saturday, April 4: This post originally included another video that was also circulating and was widely believed to be recent but was in fact filmed before the stay-at-home order.
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