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Florida man fired after having meltdown over mask rules at Costco

A woman asked him about not wearing a face covering, and the situation reportedly went downhill from there.
Credit: AP
Customers wearing protective masks from the coronavirus and keeping social distancing space line up to enter a Costco Wholesale store in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

He was an insurance agent. And, then he wasn't.

A Florida man has been fired from his job after somebody filmed him shouting and swearing after being asked to wear a face mask at Costco. It happened on June 26 in Fort Myers.

CBS News reports the tirade began when an elderly woman asked the man about his lack of a face covering.

Video posted to Twitter shows the man wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt with the words "Running the world since 1776."  You can hear him yell "I feel threatened," "back off," and "back the f--- off, put your f---ing phone down" toward an employee who CBS says came to the aid of the older woman.

The Miami filmmaker who posted the video said Costco workers escorted the man out of the store and made sure he was gone before helping the senior citizen to her car.

Click here to watch the video. Warning: It contains profanity.

The insurance company that employed the man released a statement on Twitter.

"Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance. Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated," Ted Todd Insurance wrote.

Since early May, Costco has required all employees and customers to cover their faces to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

"We know some [Costco] members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience," Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek said in a statement to members at that time. "This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face covering protects not just the wearer, but others, too."

CBS News said Costco declined to comment on this particular incident.

The CDC recommends wearing face coverings to prevent respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs, sneezes or speaks from landing in the mouths or noses of nearby people. Because many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, they can transmit it to others without ever knowing they are sick.

Several counties and cities in the Tampa Bay region have implemented mask mandates. Click here to see where you need to cover your face in the area.

The Florida Department of Health received another 9,989 new positive coronavirus test results from around the state on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 223,783. The CDC believes the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is likely 10 times higher than people know.

RELATED: Florida hospitals in need of coronavirus drug

RELATED: Florida coronavirus cases, deaths, hospitalizations, recoveries

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

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