Last week, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued the first flash flood emergency warning in New York City's history, making the call as the remnants of Hurricane Ida battered the city with record levels of rainfall.
More than 40 people died during the catastrophic event... but its obvious severity didn't stop people from ordering delivery.
A video showing a delivery man guiding his bicycle through treacherous flood waters, bag of food in hand, soon went viral.
The video quickly caught the attention of New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who chastised New Yorkers for putting "vulnerable people at risk" during a citywide emergency.
Please do not be the person who orders delivery during a flash flood that the NWS has deemed a dangerous and life-t… https://t.co/U2OsE2WXxV— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1630552098.0
"Please do not be the person who orders delivery during a flash flood that the NWS has deemed a dangerous and life-threatening situation. It puts vulnerable people at risk."
She stressed that those who are considering ordering food should consider other options first:
"If it's too dangerous for you, it's too dangerous for them. Raid your cabinets or ask a neighbor for help."
Many agreed with the Congresswoman that ordering food during dangerous weather is a "selfish" action.
They also criticized the restaurant industry for not paying fair wages and creating unsustainable working conditions that force workers to put making money above their own safety.
Ordering delivered food during a flash food/tornado is sickeningly selfish. Think next time about those you put in… https://t.co/SZdkazt5cH— Julie (@Julie) 1630626680.0
Ordering takeout for funsies during a major storm is a dick move. https://t.co/L9CMh60VVK— Michael C. Bailey - indie author, stage combat guy (@Michael C. Bailey - indie author, stage combat guy) 1630578959.0
Anyone who ordered food delivery last night was also a bad tipper, you just know. https://t.co/UwAnAJwfiy— Celina Schocken (@Celina Schocken) 1630585669.0
Maybe also don't be a restaurant that's open and taking orders more importantly? Or a website that's still taking o… https://t.co/PqxfEZrDCr— REDACTED Praxis 🏴🏳️🌈Ⓥ (@REDACTED Praxis 🏴🏳️🌈Ⓥ) 1630593318.0
So many wrong things: 1st why would the restaurant stay opened? 2nd why would the restaurant keep take away option… https://t.co/5qHe2IiEoZ— Daniela (@Daniela) 1630576932.0
When Vegas was put under a warning for a bad storm that rolled through the dasher app lit up like a Christmas tree.… https://t.co/VtEcLyQLbe— Whack (@Whack) 1630581397.0
This is what is wrong with consumer culture. We only think about ourselves and not working people. Even during dang… https://t.co/ikLJpVUPvR— :: 1.21 Gigawatts :: (@:: 1.21 Gigawatts ::) 1630590898.0
Have we gotten so fucked up as a society that someone literally has to tell y’all not to make food orders during a… https://t.co/EdKzdqNcN6— Orville Rickenbacker (@Orville Rickenbacker) 1630637750.0
so much to be said about people having to constantly put their bodies on the line for MONEY. It’s ridiculous. https://t.co/4FfZUogGOn— charlene, mpa 🌻 (@charlene, mpa 🌻) 1630555597.0
In response to criticism, food delivery platform Grubhub said it is working to determine if the man in the video is one of their own delivery workers.
A Grubhub spokesperson said "...safety of delivery workers is a top priority," adding:
"While we always appreciate the hard work drivers put in to get the job done, no delivery worker for any company or restaurant should ever take an action that would jeopardize their safety."
Ocasio-Cortez, who has held office since 2019, counts labor rights and income inequality among the more prominent elements of her platform.
After the storm had passed, she pointed out that the climate crisis, which contributed to Hurricane Ida's strength, is also an "inequality crisis."