The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is investigating a complaint by a Haredi man claiming that a bus driver did not want to stop at a bus stop in Brooklyn because of the current measles outbreak.
The man said the bus driver drove past the largely orthodox-populated area of Williamsburg last week, but caught up with him after he got stuck in traffic. The bus driver finally let him in, covered her face with the sweater and refused to accept the transfer of the man while he "measles! Go in! Brooklyn Paper reported.
The incident was reported to the MTA on Thursday by the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, which is working with the city to stem measles outbreaks by educating the population and encouraging immunization, according to The Forward.
"The measles outbreak should not be used as an excuse for anti-Semitism," the group said in a tweet.
A second tweet from the group added: "Facts are that about 95% of the community vaccinate. We, the rabbis and community leaders, are working hard to increase it. No justification to attack the entire community because of the deficiencies of a few. "
The incident was reportedly happening for several days before New York City mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the haredi orthodox community's outbreak in Brooklyn.
Since October, 285 cases of measles have been reported in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, including 246 children. The Brooklyn outbreak was tied to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease during a trip to Israel, the Washington Post reported.
Rabbi David Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organization, said the Brooklyn Paper The Haredi Jews in Williamsburg are being harassed on the street and people are calling "Jews, measles".
"The MTA has absolutely no tolerance for discrimination – we take this issue seriously and look into it," MTA Foreign Affairs Chief Max Young told the newspaper.
De Blasio also said that his office had contact with the MTA during the incident. Anti-Semitic discrimination has no place in our city, "he said.