Marshall University said it has placed a professor on leave after she said during an online class that she hopes maskless rallygoers get the novel coronavirus and die.
A video circulating widely online identifies the speaker as Jennifer Mosher, an assistant professor at the Huntington, W.Va., university.
“Wearing a mask is serious,” the speaker says at the start of the clip, where she is sitting at a desk chair, seemingly addressing students remotely. The clip appears to be just part of the professor’s comments.
She refers to a “certain person” who recently held an indoor rally where supporters did not wear masks.
“I’ve become the type of person where I hope they all get it and die. I’m sorry, but I am so frustrated — just — I don’t know what else to do,” she adds. “You can’t argue with them, you can’t talk sense into them. I said to somebody yesterday I hope they all die before the election. That’s the only saving hope I have right now.”
She does not mention President Trump by name in the one clip that has widely circulated, although the president and his supporters are mentioned in other clips that were posted on Twitter.
Mosher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert said in a statement Monday that the school “will not tolerate its employees using the classroom or other platforms to express hate toward individuals or wish harm on them because of their political beliefs or other opinions.”
Gilbert said an investigation has been launched and the faculty member is on “investigative leave.”
“I can assure you that at the conclusion of the investigation our chief academic officer, Dr. Jaime Taylor, will make a recommendation to me and I will take appropriate action,” the statement adds.
In a previous statement posted Friday, the university said it was “aware of an overtly political statement made by a faculty member in a recent virtual classroom session and widely circulated on social media.”