A video of a delivery employee wearing an Amazon vest is going viral after the man appears to spit on his hand and smear it on a package on a customer's front porch. In the video, published by TMZ and recorded by a doorbell camera, the delivery man who appears to be an Amazon employee appears to use his hand to deliberately smear his saliva on a package that is out of frame before taking a photo of the delivery.
TMZ reports that the incident occurred Thursday evening in a duplex residence in Los Angeles' Hancock Park neighborhood. A source told the news outlet that Amazon was contacted by a neighbor and a friend of the person whose package was apparently spit on, and that a customer service representative watched the footage with them. The representative reportedly "gasped" upon seeing the footage and expressed shock that it was an older man delivering the package. The representative confirmed the delivery employee was from a third party service and that the incident was reported, but said it's possible he might be back on the job.
A neighbor reportedly posted the delivery confirmation photo, along with a strongly-worded note to Amazon — on social media. In the photo, a liquid can be clearly seen smeared across the top of the box. "Not so great [Amazon]," the customer wrote on their Instagram story in response to the company's message asking how the delivery was. "I'd like to believe this was an honest mistake. PLEASE make sure your staff is educated and taking all the necessary precautions!" they continued.
In response to the incident, an Amazon spokesperson told TMZ, "We have high standards for delivery service partners and expect every package to be handled with care. We've notified the right teams internally and will work with the customer directly on matters related to their package delivery."
The incident directly goes against recommendations from health officials, who have issued social distancing guidelines and warned against spreading bodily fluids amid the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, has spread quickly across the country in recent weeks after first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 appeared in Seattle in late January, with the first death as a result of the illness coming a month later in Washington state. To date, the U.S. has 86,012 confirmed cases — leading the world in that statistic for the first time on Thursday — with 1,301 deaths as of Friday morning, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.
Italy has reported the most deaths, however, with 8,215 among its 80,589 confirmed cases. China sits in between Italy and the U.S. with confirmed cases at 81,897 and 3,296 deaths.