Airport authorities aren't willing to see the hilarious side of jokes about Ebola right now, a passenger flying from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic discovered yesterday. After the coughing and sneezing passenger declared "I've been to Africa"—early reports said he yelled "I have Ebola!"—the plane was held on the tarmac for more than an hour after landing while emergency workers in hazmat suits removed the passenger from the plane, reports Fox. "I ain't from Africa," he protested as he was taken off the plane.
"I think the man that has said this is an idiot," a flight attendant says in video of the incident, ABC reports. The passenger, who pleaded that he had only been joking, was booed by fellow passengers as he was removed, reports TMZ. An airport spokeswoman says that the airport had to take all precautions, though the incident turned out to be just a "joke of poor taste." Authorities determined that the man, who is being returned to the US, didn't have Ebola and hadn't been to Africa. (Read more Ebola stories.)