Montreal bus driver says he no longer disinfects bus, makes unfounded claim that COVID-19 is 'a false pandemic'
MONTREAL -- Montreal’s public transit agency says it’s “following up” with one of its bus drivers after he posted to Facebook saying he no longer disinfects his bus.
In screenshots from a now deleted post, the driver made the unfounded claim that the coronavirus is “not dangerous to those with good immune systems” and that people don’t need a vaccine “that will make us even more sick.” He says he came to these conclusions after doing some "research."
“Today, I no longer disinfect my bus because it is a false pandemic in order to better control people,” he wrote.
There is no evidence to support the driver's claim that the COVID-19 pandemic is "false." More than 12 million people around the world have become infected with the novel coronavirus; some 548,000 have died.
The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) said in an email to CTV News that all buses are cleaned daily by maintenance teams, but “of course, we also ask our employees to follow public health and hygiene guidelines.”
The STM took to Twitter to add that "One bad apple doesn't spoil the bunch." The agency says it employs 11,000 people, "and the very vast majority of them are doing a tremendous job following strict measures and recommendations in place since the beginning of the pandemic, to protect clients, colleagues and themselves altogether."
Though the STM wouldn’t reveal how it intends to move forward with this particular driver, it said “it is our best practice to meet with employees to remind them of the instructions in force.”
A photo posted to the driver’s Facebook page suggests he’s also against the wearing of masks – which is set to become mandatory on all public transit in Quebec as of July 13. When Premier Francois Legault made the announcement last week, he said it would be up to bus drivers to refuse entry to passengers who aren’t wearing masks. No other enforcement measures will be in place.
The driver admitted that at the beginning of the pandemic, he showed up to his shifts 30 minutes early to disinfect his bus.
“I made a barrier to stop passengers from speaking to me… and I washed my hands a minimum of 20 times per day,” his post said. "But with time, I found that something was wrong."