People really don't want to wear face masks despite assorted doctors, scientists, health experts and even Senate Majority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell telling them the coverings help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which is once again spiking in states across the U.S.
In fact, McConnell even took to the Senate floor and publicly said, "We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter."
Masks are not a conspiracy and they are not fake news.
But what is fake news, according to the Department of Justice, are these laminated cards that some die-hard anti-maskers and "freedom fighters" are printing out and carrying around to presumably show clerks at Costco in an attempt to shop for bulk toilet paper and mayonnaise while being able to freely exhale their breath droplets on other human's potential purchases.
Former *NSYNC member and noted "Arts and Crafts Karens" insulter Lance Bass is one of many who have shared an example of what the fake face mask exempt card looks like.
On the card you can see a fraudulent Department of Justice seal. The DOJ has also seen the fake use of the seal.
The Department of Justice Warns of Inaccurate Flyers and Postings Regarding the Use of Face Masks and the Americans with Disabilities Act https://t.co/69KoRQCCPx— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) June 30, 2020
In a release, the DOJ said:
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband reiterated today that cards and other documents bearing the Department of Justice seal and claiming that individuals are exempt from face mask requirements are fraudulent.
Inaccurate flyers or other postings have been circulating on the web and via social media channels regarding the use of face masks and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these notices included use of the Department of Justice seal and ADA phone number.
As the Department has stated in a previous alert, the Department did not issue and does not endorse them in any way. The public should not rely on the information contained in these postings.
The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.The public can visit ADA.gov or call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY) for more information.
The ADA posted that previous alert mentioned, saying, "These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department."
Also, the www.ftbagency.com website on the card is no longer active. But this private Freedom to Breathe Agency Facebook group is and currently has almost 600 members. One assumes that's where you get the card.
Also, one of Bass' commenters did note that using a false government seal is in fact a crime itself under Title 18 U.S. Code § 1017.
"Whoever fraudulently or wrongfully affixes or impresses the seal of any department or agency of the United States, to or upon any certificate, instrument, commission, document, or paper or with knowledge of its fraudulent character, with wrongful or fraudulent intent, uses, buys, procures, sells, or transfers to another any such certificate, instrument, commission, document, or paper, to which or upon which said seal has been so fraudulently affixed or impressed, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."