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Missouri professor's comment to Wuhan student draws backlash

University of Missouri
Posted at 10:44 AM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 14:55:17-04

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — An associate professor at the University of Missouri says he was "relieved of teaching duties" after an online class exchange in which he said to a student from Wuhan, China, "Well, let me get my mask on."

Joel Poor sent a notification to students Monday saying, "Today I was relieved of teaching duties, I apologize for any disruption this might cause you."

But university spokesman Christian Basi said Tuesday that Poor was not fired and remains an employee. Basi did not elaborate and would not confirm whether Poor was relieved of teaching duties.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Poor was leading an online marketing class when the exchange occurred.

Basi said the comment was reported to the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX for investigation.

Editor's note: This story corrects an earlier version from the Associated Press that said Poor had been fired.