Because there are apparently no lengths some people won’t go to in order to avoid wearing a mask in the middle of a pandemic, fake “Face Mask Exemption” cards are now circulating online.
A group calling themselves the “Freedom to Breathe Agency” launched a website where people could download these cards to present to managers who deny them entry to a business for refusing to wear a mask.
The card claims that the carrier is “exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public,” and cites the Americans with Disability Act, alongside threats of a lawsuit and a seal suggesting the whole thing is backed up by the Department of Justice.
Anti-maskers falsely claiming medical exemptions to get around rules put in place by local governments and privately owned business is nothing new.
We’ve seen it happen on multiple videos that have gone viral, and another similar card circulated back in May, citing both the ADA and “HIPPA” (or HIPAA, for those who actually have valid reasons to cite it) and, again, threatening lawsuits against anyone requiring masks.
People thoroughly eviscerated these attempts to disguise personal selfishness behind fake medical conditions at the time, often pointing out that the ADA only requires that reasonable accommodations be made for a person with disabilities, not that businesses are required to cater to their every whim.
And folks are just as livid at these new cards.
Trying to take advantage of protections put in place for people with real medical conditions is not only a deeply questionable decision morally, but also has the potential to create problems for folks who truly do need exemptions, during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
But this time, the Department of Justice has been forced to step in.
Because this new card circulating actually uses the Department of Justice seal, the ADA website issued a statement clarifying that the cards are not endorsed by the government in any way.
“These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department,” the statement reads in part. “The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ADA.gov for ADA information issued by the Department.”
Though the idea that anyone would take these cards seriously, all things considered, is…something.
Unsurprisingly, it seems as though the website has been taken down, at least for the time being, though the cards still continue to circulate.
But one Twitter user had a great idea for pushing back at any faker who shows up at your business with one of these absolutely useless little printouts — speak the only language they seem to understand.