Edmonton Man and others around the world weaponize alleged COVID-19 infections

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 9, 2020

An Edmonton man was charged with two counts of assault for allegedly repeatedly coughing on a city bus driver as well as two Edmonton Transit peace officers when they came to arrest him for the incident.

Daniel Black (38), due to his blatant disregard of quarantine laws, was also charged with contravening an order of the chief medical officer under the Public Health Act due to Black admitting to having tested positive for COVID19.

In a statement made by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) spokesman Scott Paterson described in a press release, the situation police had responded to near Southgate mall.

Paterson, in the release, said, “It is alleged that the accused entered the bus driver’s enclosure and repeatedly coughed on the bus driver … Police were also told that the accused coughed on the transit peace officers during their arrest, before acknowledging he had tested positive for COVID-19.”

The EPS used the opportunity to remind the public that ignoring the public health protocols and rules put in place can be charged by a bylaw officer and police. Currently, Daniel Black is the only person the EPS has had to lay charges on during the COVID19 pandemic.

As strange as that instance was in Edmonton, there seems to be a broader phenomenon of people trying to weaponize COVID19 to terrify the public or seek attention.

On April 7th, police in Fort Worth, Texas, charged a man for making terroristic threats after he went around a laundromat claiming to have COVID19 and coughing on patrons. 

Just today, an 18-year-old woman was charged by police in Carrollton, Texas, for terroristic threats for also alleged to have COVID19 at intentions spreading the virus in a snapchat video. 

In Japan, back on March 4th, a 57-year-old man after testing positive for COVID19 decided to intentionally spread the virus, going to multiple bars trying to make physical contact with people. Later that man died, and one woman he had direct contact with had then on March 12th  also tested positive for COVID19. 

Other than the case of the young woman seeking social media attention, it has been challenging to figure out what motivates these people to either terrify others by claiming to have COVID19 or genuinely trying to spread the virus. 

It may be that the baseless skepticism surrounding COVID19 and other misinformation denying the severity of the issue has caused some to act out in defiance of the crisis, but even then, no official explanation has been presented by any police departments for the outlandish behaviour.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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