A Vancouver Island mother took her four-month-old son to the hospital earlier this month, expecting a straightforward visit with a pediatrician.
Instead, she and her child were allegedly verbally assaulted and coughed on by a man spouting conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
The man was already seated in the waiting room at Victoria General Hospital when Chelsea Hubert walked in with her infant son on Thursday, Nov. 5.
She noticed her soon-to-be assailant because he was using his phone with the volume up quite high. Another patient offered the man headphones, Hubert said.
“Everyone was being really nice to him and trying to help him out,” she said. “Then, all of a sudden, he just got up and went to the bathroom and next thing I know he was standing in front of us.”
Hubert said she doesn’t know why she and her son became the target of the man’s ire. The child wasn’t crying or screaming, she said.
“He wasn’t making any noise,” she said. “Next thing I know, this individual just is standing in front of us and he’s just coughing all over us, screaming, ‘COVID is fake.'”
The man’s coughs were not fake, but they did seem intentional, Hubert said.
She immediately got up and left, calling her husband to pick her up while other patients and hospital security confronted the man, who started claiming to have a gun.
The man was eventually arrested, Hubert said, adding that she has spoken with police about the incident.
“I’m still kind of angry that someone would do that,” she said. “I just don’t understand why someone would cough on a child.”
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