The FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were investigating who was behind a hoax letter, fashioned with official-looking logos, that claimed the coronavirus had been detected in Carson, and claimed the infected person had been to several public places including Seafood City.
“It looked real!” said Jennifer Denia, a Carson resident who received the post and and passed it along to her friends.
“I was like, ‘oh no I’m going to call all of my friends. I don’t want to get sick,’” she said.
Local news from across Southern California
Now that she knows it’s fake, she’s not afraid to shop at Seafood City, located at 131 W Carson St.
The manager said in the past four days business has dropped 30% because of the fake post.
“It’s a bit slow. It’s affecting us,” said manager Jules Torres.
Health officials say there is no need to worry just yet about the coronavirus, which has exploded into more than 17, 000 cases in China, and 11 in the U.S.
“At this point we do not have widespread infection inside of LA County, nor inside the United States,” said LA County Public Health’s Dr. Muntu Davis.
Another hoax report of coronavirus in Southern California came last Tuesday via email. It claimed a USC student living in off-campus housing had been infected.
University officials quickly put that rumor to rest.
Public health is not a joke and causing fear in the community is not a joke and we will not tolerate it,” said Rep. Nanette Barragan.
Barragan joined Carson’s mayor, and others as they explained the dangers of the hoax posts.
Mayor Albert Robles feels his city was targeted because of it’s roughly 25% asian population.
“These perpetrators need to know that they picked on the wrong community and they picked on the wrong city,” Robles said.
While it’s going to be difficult to track down the creator of the fake post…
The LA County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI were working on it, but for now, people living in Carson are relieved coronavirus is not in their city.