An Amazon delivery employee is no longer working for the online retailer after video of him spitting on a package during the coronavirus pandemic went viral. The video showed the man spitting on his hand, then wiping it on a package he delivered to a home in Hancock Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The video was filmed Thursday, and Amazon said it is investigating the incident.
The residents who received the package first thought a dog urinated on the box, they told Fox Los Angeles. However, when they looked at their security camera's footage, they were shocked to see the delivery man spitting and wiping his hand on the box. The residents did not want to be identified, but another area resident said they shared the footage to warn others.
"It's horrifying... It's upsetting," Tammy Minoff told Fox Los Angeles. "They were warning us to be careful with packages. The proof is in the pudding seeing that video and they all wanted us to be warned and be on the lookout."
A neighbor also reportedly shared the delivery confirmation photo on social media, and it clearly showed a damp area on the box.
If anyone is using Amazon to deliver necessary supplies, sanitize your boxes before touching or opening. Apparently there is at least one @amazon delivery worker who actively spits on packages when delivering.
It is not known if he’s a carrier of the disease.
Please share pic.twitter.com/ZPfUUbIZO5— •ㅅ• ㊰ 中村和幸 (@AokakesuKazu) March 28, 2020
"Not so great [Amazon]," the customer wrote in an Instagram Story post, along with a screenshot of Amazon's delivery confirmation email. "I'd like to believe this was an honest mistake. PLEASE make sure your staff is educated and taking all the necessary precautions!"
The residents said they decontaminated themselves before calling police and Amazon. The company confirmed the man was no longer delivering for them.
"We are aggressively investigating to understand what may have occurred in this situation," Amazon said in a statement. "If it truly was a malicious act by the driver, we will be sure he is held accountable, up through and including law enforcement action."
"I hope it's really taken seriously by Amazon and everybody in charge," Minoff told Fox. "It's serious."
The incident horrified many on social media as it goes against everything officials have told people to do during the coronavirus pandemic. The virus can be spread through mucus or saliva, Kin-on Kwok, a professor at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told The New York Times. People have also been advised to stay about six feet away from other people while social distancing.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump extended federal guidelines for social distancing through April 30, reports CNN. He hoped the country could be on the road to "recovery" by June 1.
As of Sunday night, the U.S. has over 140,000 coronavirus cases, more than any other country. More than 2,400 deaths have been reported.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images