After SHOCKING Viral Video of a Man being Physically Removed From a Bus in Philly, SEPTA Changes Its Wuhan Virus Face Mask Requirement
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) says it will no longer enforce a mandatory mask policy after a viral video of a man being dragged off a bus for not wearing one, which caused a massive uproar.
The video shows several Philadelphia police officers physically removing the man, who later says he was removed for not wearing a mask.
Philadelphia police received “calls of a disturbance” near 11th and Market Streets around 8:25 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2020 after a passenger was asked on multiple occasions to leave the bus and refused. The police reported that the passenger was not arrested nor received a citation.
“The police were responding to the fact that the person was asked to leave the bus and refused,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy recounted during the city’s news conference on April 10. “I would expect my officers to continue to do that and support our SEPTA workers.”
“We didn’t do a good enough job notifying the public about this,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said on Friday.
The video went viral on social media.
do riders know that they might be pulled off a SEPTA bus by 10 cops for not having a mask? pic.twitter.com/NnHXJC02E8
— Philly Transit Riders Union (@phillyTRU) April 10, 2020
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said during a news conference earlier in the week that the city “would strongly recommend” riders wear masks when going on public transportation.
“Remember, wearing a mask is about really protecting the people around you, and you’re around people when you’re in a bus or in a subway,” he stated.
Cities and states across the country are experimenting with several policies to handle the Wuhan Virus.
The pandemic is real, but policymakers will have to balance public health with respect for civil liberties, overall convenience for Americans, and economic health.