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Clerk kicks Asian doctor out of U.S. gas station, citing ‘coronavirus prevention’ policy

A man was kicked out of a Marathon gas station in Indiana for being Asian, he says.
A man was kicked out of a Marathon gas station in Indiana for being Asian, he says. File/Getty Images

An Indiana gas station owner has apologized after a doctor was kicked out of his shop for being Asian during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the doctor who works with cancer patients said he was verbally abused before being kicked out by an employee, citing the store’s “coronavirus prevention” sign, who asked if he was Chinese, according to Fox13.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” according to David, who asked to only use his first name.

David added that he told the clerk he was Korean and born in Kentucky, WISH-TV reports.

READ MORE: Man hides coronavirus symptoms to visit wife in New York maternity ward

“He was very angry and told me to get out,” David continued. “I wasn’t allowed to buy anything there, not allowed to use the bathroom there.

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“‘Never come back. Don’t ever come back,’ [he said,] in a very violent and hateful way.”

The owner of Marathon gas station, according to the broadcast station, offered an apology. He also has reportedly fired the clerk in question.

“Part of me is hurt and angry and saddened that people can actually behave that way to another,” he told WISH.

COVID-19: CDC director says xenophobia has ‘no place’ in public health
COVID-19: CDC director says xenophobia has ‘no place’ in public health

Martinsville Chief of Police Kurt Spivey confirmed to Newsweek that they received a call related to the incident on Friday.

“Friday [the] 27th, I believe, we received a call that a man of Asian descent had been refused service at a gas station, specifically due to his race being Chinese or Asian,” Spivey told Newsweek.

“My understanding is that this was directly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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READ MORE: Girl and her grandpa hold socially distant dance-off under coronavirus rules

“After speaking to the management and ownership of the store and gas station where this occurred they specified that this was a one-time incident,” Spivey continued. “They also stated that it was a language barrier issue. My understanding is that the subject was asked to leave by the clerk.

“The owner of the gas station has been nothing but apologetic and they are sorry that this entire incident happened and would like to move past it.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca